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An Essay 

Cfc TNI 

Origin of the South Indian Temple 



Chflttlon ColUw 



An Essay 


Origin of the South Indian Temple 



Madras Chrlslran College 

Price Rs 1-8-0 


KBrnoons muoOKa nocsu 





••• • •• 

... I 


Tub Sacred Thee 

••• lit 

... 4 


The pre-historic Guavkb 

• •• Mf 

... 6 


The Stone Ring or xnn Maoic Circle... 

... a 

V. Tab Toda Xzabams and the Primitive Temples... 16 

VI. The Primitive Temple and Tna Temple of the 

Village Deity ... ... ... ... 25 

VII. The Origin of the Vimana 3 7 

VIII. The Buddhist Origin op the Hindu Temple ... 39 

IX. The Extent op The Buddhist Indebtedness : 

The Stupa ... ... ... ... ... 46 

X. Tub Ohaitya... ... ... ... ... 51 

XI. The Hindu Temple and the Buddhist Temple. 55 

XII. Tub Pallavas and tub Souxu Indian Temple ... 61 ‘ 

XIII. The Dolmen Temple and the Toda Boath ... 66 

XIV. Tiib VimInas or Different Types 72 

XV. Tub Conclusion 76 


A thesis for a doctorate in Philosophy must, according to 
the regulations of the University, either embody new facts 
brought to light by the candidate, or contain original deduc- 
tions bused upon already known facts. It is difficult to assign 
the following either to the one or the other of those classes ; for 
it contains a few facts which have been observed by me. 
However, it may be assigned to the second class, us it is mainly 
based on facts collected by others. I urn also required to sty 
how far the essay is original. I do not claim originality lor 
most of the facts mentioned in the essay. I have duly acknowl- 
edged my indebtedness to various authors from whom 1 col- 
lected them. I happened to gather a number of facts on the 
subjoct, while conducting an investigation into the origin of the 
Linga cult. A hypothesis had gradually taken shape in my 
mind, unconsciously, as it were. A study of the theory of the 
origin of the Dravidian temple propounded by Mr. Longhurst 
(Arch. Rep. 1915-I6) showed me the way in which I should 
conduct the enquiry. The work of tracing the evolution of the 
South Indian Temple step by step is entirely mine. Although 
I at first accepted the current theories regarding the origin of 
the Hindu Temple and the South Indian Vimanas, I was soon 
convinced that in the light of facts that came under my purview 
they were untenable. 1 had, therefore, to go deeper into the 
matter than I at first wanted. 1 have attempted to show in the 
course of my essay that the Hindu Temple was not modelled 
upon the Buddhist Stupa, but that it existed anterior to the 
Stupa. In fact, it served as a model to the early low domical 
stupa which in course of ages assumed the shape of n tower, 
resembling a temple Vimana. 1 have endeavoured to show; 
that the South Indian Temple acquired its Vimana, us a result 
of a number of causes which brought the temple and the 
Vimana together. All these arc the results of my own thinking ; 
and so far as 1 am aware, I am not indebted to any one in this 
respect. I must express my gratitude to the late Mr. A. 
Maliadeva Sastri, the Curator, the Adyar Theosophical Library 
for his valuable assistance in lending me books, and suggest- 
ing to me fresh sources of information, and to my brother 
Mr. N. Raghavnyya, M.A. for his valuable suggestions nnd 
criticisms. I take this opportunity to thank tny esteemed 
friend Mr. K. Naraslmhnchari who, in spite of his multifarious 
activities, supplied me with all the diagrams that I wanted 
for the purposes of this essay. I owe a debt of thanks to 
my friend Mr. D.T. Subrahmanlan, B.A. (Hon.), Lecturer, Islamla 
College, Vaniyombodl for compiling the index. 


March SI, 10S0. 

N. V. R. 



Tlio Buddhist Tomplo ... 

• •• 

• •• 



A Toinplo of tlio village deity 

Faolnc paco 



A Stono Rio# at Amaravatl 

• •• 





Tlio Toda Aaarain 

t <• 

• M 

• • 



A Calm 


a • « 

• 1 



Tho ground plan of tho Kamba-lur Dolinon tomplo 

• • 



Tbo Shrine of Bit Dovam 





Tho graves of tho Curahnra 

• •• 

• •• 

• • 



A Coniplo of tho villafio deity 

• •• 





Tlio Hot-nrns 

• •• 





Tho tomplo of Durga ut Malnhalipuia 




A Chahya 






Tho Boatli 


• •• 




Tlio grttvoB of tlio Trioats at Muilbidvi 

• •• 




A South Indian Illudu crave 

• •e 




Tlio Budalai Madnn Pillar 

• •• 

• •• 




Bot Molml Praaada 


• • 



A Ratliu nb Mulmbollpim 

• •• 





A llinda tomplo In Coylon 


• •• 





The lorn i ‘The Dravidien Temple’ is often mot with iu 
thu historic*) ol Indian Art. It is applied to our temple in order 
to distinguish it from that ol Northern India and Deccan. The 
need for Ruch a distinction is obvious. Our toiuplus diflur from 
those of tho north in certain important ro&pects; and it ia not 
roiisouablo to iaoludo both of them in tho sumo class. However, 
when once thin distinction is uindo, it fjivns riso to oertain now 
problems which demand solution. Tho most important of them 
is tho one concoming tho origin of tho difference between the 
temples of the north and tho ROiilh. What are tho causos that 
hnvo given birth to this differeuco? In other words, what is the 
origin of tho Uravidian or South Indian temple? Tho question 
is more easily asked than answered. Answers more or less 
satisfactory have beon given from time to time. However, it 
cannot be said that tfce problem has been completely solved. It 
is loo complex to admit of a simple solution. An attempt is made 
in the following pages to study the problem from a new stand- 

It is generally supposed that there is a single type of temple 
in Sooth Iudia called tho Dravidion temple. This is a mistake. 
There aro, in fact, two kinds of tamplcs which arc generally aeon 
all over Southern Iudia : the temples dedicated to the higher gode 
of the Hindu pantheon, and those built in honour of tho village 
deities. The latlor again (all into two classes : some arc built in 
tho shape of a dolman, whereas tho others aro modelled upon the 
hut-urn. In addition to those, we have to consider the temples 
that aro peculiar to certain localities. Although the teriari snd tho 
South aro seen nowhero olso except among the Todas of the 
Nilgiris they seem to have exorcised an much inflaenco upon tho 
Dravidiau Lontplu ns tho Sud*lai-MA..bui shrines ol Tinnevolly. 
Tho present South Indian tomplc is tho result of u syncretism of 
all these. 

Wo have alio to notice another important point in this con- 
nection. All tho turn pica that l-avo boon mentioned obovo arc 
intimately counucled with the gruvo-yiud or the cremation ground. 


The connection with tho graves is soon not only in the case of the 
temples of the village deities, but in that of the tamples of certain 
god* like Siva, belonging to a higher plane of divine life. The 
earliest reference to diva's assooiution with the cremation ground 
coiucs from the Mah&bhUr >ti. In ch. Ml of tho Anudlsanu- 
pirvnn, the god himself declares thut there is u» spot 'that is 
more sacrwl than tho smasftnn,' Therefore, he udds, ' The 

crematorium of all plucos jiImsos my heart Hence the 

crematorium is tho sacred abode to me; ... it scorns to me to 
bo tho very hoaven.’ 1 

Tho author of this cpif.odo seems to bo alluding to the 
tomples of Siva built iu tho crematories. Whether he docs so 
or not, is not of very groat consecjnenco ; but tho passage estab- 
lishes a very early conuoccion of Biva with the cremation ground. 
Moreover, it also gives us a reason why the temples of Biva, in 
almost all the important places of pilgrimage stand, or have at 
ODe time stood, in the cremation ground itself. It is probably for 
this reason that some of our ancient silpa-s&stras cujoiu that the 
temples of Siva should be built outside the precincts of villages. 3 
Moreover, there is ample epigraphiaal evidence to show that, 
in certain cass9, temples of Biva were actually built upon graves. 
Mr. 11. Krishna Sistri informs us that " there is a record of the 
9th oentary A.D., a: Sojapuratn in North Arcot district, record- 
ing that the Chunking R'jldiiya caused to be built a temple 
to lavara (Biva) on the spot where hiB father had been buried." 
"Another inscription records that at Tondaman.u.1 in OhictooT 
district was built a shrine ovor or near the burial ground (paUip- 
pa<fai) of the Chflja liing Adilya I. A third inscription found iu 
the GhA|64vara teiuplo at MiMpiVJi status that Rajardja T at the end 
of the 10th century A.D., had Loon to build tho temple 
ol Arifijlivam as a puiiippadai for the lord who died at Aj-fftr."* 

The numerous temples that are dedicated to tho god 
&ina«4u6ivara in many plucos in Houtli India might have had a 
similar origin. They generally stand in or noar the grave-yards. 
The custom ol building Siva’s temples over graves is by no moans 
dead. Many communities iu South India, such ns the Lingltyals, 
KauimMaus, Jilndrus, VeJl&lars, &o., still observe it; but n 
temple is not built in every case of burial or cremation, 
because the poor cr.unot afford it. Uovvovor, they set up 
i linqain over the graves. The rich still build miniature Siva 



shrinofi over them. It is not at all an uncommon sight 
(or » casual visitor to a South Indian Hindu grave-yard, to 
see a small shrine containing a Ivigam raising its hend over 
hundreds of Hugos sui up on tho graven in the uoighbourhooil. 

Thu connection of tho t<unplc with tho grave- yard, therefore, 
appoors to bo intimate and ancient. Tho tomplo of feiva scorns 
to bo closuly connected with thoao of tho village deities. An 
attempt ii hero modo loo.saiuina tho nature of thin relationship, 
in order to discover tho llnon on which ibo modern South Indian 
tcmplo 1ms been ovolvod. 

» Mahabharda. V . C. Roy’* EnRlliti Translation. 

' Raw Rax's Eosay on Indian Aretottelvrt. 

* Report ot Arch. Sur., SoulLein Circle, 1015-10. 


Tho South Indiau temple had, at the beginning, no 
connection with the worahip ot any deity. Tho vnrioai gcds and 
goddesses whom tho indigenous population of tho peninsula 
worshipped wcro not accustomed to dwell in the woluded 
atmosphere of tho totnples; they loved tho lifo in the open air. 
Thin becomes vory clour when wo tnko into consideration tho 
cults of soiuo of the primitive doilies who have not yet lost 
their primitive character. They are vory popular, and their 
influence over the lives of pooplo is very great. The typical deity 
of tho South Indian villngn is the qnlmadioald, or tho villago 
deity, who is generally lodged in a small shrine constructed on 
a primitive pattern. The shrine, however, marks a late stage in 
the development of the cult of the grAmadioata, It is still 
possible for ns to discern an earlier stage of the cult. In a large 
number of villages, the grAmadcoat&s have no temples at 
all ; they aro lodged in '.he open air in the shadow of a big 
tree. In a good number of villages, no object is placed co 
represent: the deity. To all these places, the tree itself is 
regarded as the embodiment of the deity. This is the sacred tree 
of the village ; and it receives all acts of worahip which aro 
meant for the deity. The tree which is usually considered sacred 
to toe qtAmadiMin is the margoaa. This, however, is not 
always the case. Sometimes, the goddess takes a fancy for’ 
Borne other kind of tree or group of trees. Muntivara, n 
malevolent spirit, belonging to the class of village gods, lives 
under any troo. Ho is not very particular in the cboico of his 
Bncrod tree. He may live under a hugo banyan as ho does near 
tho XC)avflr Railway Station ; or ho may tnko a speoinl liking to 
mango trees as ho dooa in aorao of the villages in the vicinity of 

Next in importance to tho grdmadSuatU and moro popular is 
Vinttyok*. lie haR his own temples in tho Tamil country I but 
an independent temple of this god is seldom seen in the 
Andhradflto. Hero, ho usually livos in tho open country, in tho 
midst of paddy fields, on the hanks of water channels. Ho 



usually takes his scat under some tree, even though it ho a 
solitary palmyra. Occnoionaily, he is also seen standing in th« 
midst of fields without any covering over his head. 

The lovo of tho open air is not a poouliur feature of thoso 
minor gods. Home of the great gods of tbo Hindu pantheon 
exhibit traces of a forgotten past, when they seem to have lived 
under trees. Both Siva and Vishnu tho most important gods 
whom tho Hindu* worship at tho present day, nppoar to hnvo 
had no tcuiplos in the distant past. Tho linga, tho universal 
emblem of Siva is seen not ouly in temples, but in the midst of 
donso forests, with no covering over its head except the branches 
of the sacred bitea tree. The holy ahattha in as closely associa- 
ted with Vishnu os the bilva with ttiva, It ia generally believed 
that tho god lives within the troe. Those insiancos arc enough 
bo show that tbo gods of South India bail no temples at tho 
beginning. Almost all of them were worshipped in the form of 
trees. This simple form of primitive worship still survives, 
although the people bavo learnt to build very beautiful houses 
for their cods to live in. 



From what has been said in the previous chapter) it must 
have become clear that tho origin of our temple caouot be 
traced to the cult o( any Rod. It bad its birth in oortaiu social 
uud quasi-religious practices, which had no connection whatever 
with the worship of any particular god or goddess. We munt 
look for its origin in the innumerable pro-historic graves that arc 
Boon everywhere in cortain parts of South India and the Doccan. 
The ojedit of having indicated this lino of investigation must go 
to Mr. Longhur&t, the present Superintendent of Archeology, 
Southern Circle. Although his exposition of the subject is 
brilliant, his conclusions are not very convincing. This is, 
perhaps, due to the fact that he confines bis attention loo exclu- 
sively to archreologicnl finds. It is necessary to consider the 
problem from two or three different stand-points, iu order to 
achieve more satisfactory results. 

" It is clear,” ho observes, “ that in ancient India, ancestor- 
worship, or more broadly the cnlt of the dead, formed the staplo 
of religions belief of the original inhabitants in early times." 1 
This statement ia not quite accurate. It mast bo noted, in th e 
first place, that ancestor-worship strictly specking, did not form 
' the staple of religions belief of the original inhabitants.’ A 
study of the religion of some of the South Indian tribes, whoso 
beliefs arc supposed to have suffered no change, clearly shows 
that they worship gods other than the spirits of the departed 
ancestors. Tho gods occupy a more important place in tho 
minds of those savages than tbc ancestor-spirits. Secondly, it is 
nos very clear wbal Mr. Longlnirst really means, when ho 
speaks of ‘ a nocs tor- worship or more broadly the cult of tho dead.’ 
The worship of tho spirits of the departed was reduced into n 
systom by the Tudo-Arynns. Suoh a system was not known to 
the non-Aryan communities. It must he admitted, howover, 
that certain distinguished men received divino honours in every 
tribe ; but this is not ancestral worship. Tho 1 cult of tho m&nos ’ 
can only grow whon a community develops a fairly high degree of 
historical sense. Until a community learns to link tho past 



with th » present, it is not possible for it to conceive ol a stole 
of society where spirits of the departed Ancestor* of several 
generation* an expected to exorcise some influcnco. Neither 
finds in the pro-historio graves, nor the religions obnervances 
of the primitive triber iuhabaiug Ihn country justify the conclu- 
sion that the worship of nncestml spirits was known to tho 
uou- Aryans. It is true tbuc there wus a ‘cull of the dead.’ 
Mr. Longhurit does not toll ua whul exactly its nature was. Hi# 
moaning is not dear ; cud tho co-ordiuuliou of tho phrases— 
* Qucoetor- worship 1 and ‘ tho cult ol the dead 1 is certainly 
misleading. It is necessary that we should determine the nature 
ol ‘ the cull ol the dead ’ which flourished in 8outb Indio. This 
cult did not involve the worship of the spirits of all the dead 
persons. Only the tpirils of those who had won great notoriety 
during their earthly career received worship. Among the Guiles, 
Idigas, Byacjarn, etc., the common belief is that good men alter 
their death become virulu, ' heroes,' and they are worshipped ut 
regular intervals- The spirits of the wicked are feared. They 
are supposed to cause epidemics and famines. Unless their auger 
is appeased, they continue their work of destruction. Year after 
year new temples are built in honour of the spirits of the wicked 
persons and ot those that snllcred violent death. The temples 
of Kan&kadurganima, Podilaiuma, Thdtakummma, Kdmppakcrida 
Gvinil, and a host of local deities all over the Teluga districts 
had their origin in this fashion. Now the worship of all these 
goddesses and gods ia certainly a * cult of the dead. 1 But it is 
neither ‘ ancestor- worship 1 nor tho worship of the Spirits of nil 
the dond persons. It is tbo worship of the dead notubloB, It j* 
to 1 tho cult of the dead’ in this restricted eoneo that the origin 
of our touiplu should he traced. Tho bust method which wo can 
adopt in this investigation to secure fruitful results, is to oxamino 
them vestige* of tho primitive civilization which give us n rail 
insight into tho religious beliefs of ancient peoples. 

RtfercnccT i— 

Longhunl : Report ol the Arch. Dopt., Southern Circle, 1016 - 10 . 



Tho patient labours of nrcliro.ilogi.sts have brought to light 
thousands of graves which lie scattered nil ovor South India and 
thu Deccan. They belong to iliffurent ages. Tho uarliost of 
thorn go haok to what is generally called thu Stone Age ; and the 
latest belong to tho 15th and 10th centuries of tho Christian 
ora. Thoy are olastifled by specialists into a number of types, 
each of which is sharply distinguished from the others by special 
peculiarities of construction. Thu moat primitive of thorn ia, 
perhaps, tho simple ring of atones, with three atones in thu 
centre, marking the ploce where the deud body lies buried. 
There aro hundreds ol these alone-circlos at Amaru vat i in the 
Kiitna district, and arcluoologisla are of opinion Ibat tho 
place marks thu situ of the burial ground of aotuo ancient city 
probably I hat of Dhnranikdta, the eastern capital of tho Andhra 
kings ol the BAtovAhann dynasty. This is very probable, as 
stoue-circles are still made use of by certain savage tribes to mark 
ihe place of burial. The Tod as of the Nilgiri Hills, “ even now 
burn their dead in a circle of atones, and bury the ashes chore." * 
Generally they do not construct a uew circle of stones for every 
corpse that is cremated ; hut they make use of “ the same 
oircle for repeated cremation."' The circle of stones that is put 
to this use is called by Todas an 1 fair a in * ; and the Toda 
practice of constructing ‘ ilziratns ’ gives us some idea regarding 
the nature of tho circles at Auiars.vati. 

We have to start our inquiry with the cemetery or Dharaqi- 
kota. the ancient capital of the Xndbras. Why did the people of 
this old city build 6tonocirelo8 around tho graves of their dead ? 
Were they roquired to serve any real purpose ? Had they any 
religious or other significance? What was tho meaning of tho 
three stones in tho centra? It is nrcossary that wo must find 
answor* to nil these questions, if we dcsiro to understand them 
properly. To login with, we must ascertain the meaning of tho 
threo atonos in tho tuiddlo of the oircle. Why three stouas aro 
found ill It place whore one would have been sufficient iecerluiuly 
a mystery, which canuot easily be unravolled. It is, however, 


probablo that tlio proatioo of placing threo stones on tho graves 
had a simple origin. They must have been placed to provent tbe 
ghost of tbe dead man lii-mg from the grave. The stonoa wore 
originally placed apart, not together, one on the head, nnothor 
on the abdomen, end a third on tho logs. Tho practice is mill 
observed by tho Bdyas, n Tulagtf tribe of hunleri living in tho 
hilly tracts on tho woatorn border ol tho Tolugu districts." Tho 
throo 8tonoH loom to have been brought togethor, after tho 
introduction of cremation. Following the Aryan prtetico, tho 
Dravidiniis emulated the dead body, and buried thn asboi ; and 
Ihef' ‘oc ntonoB which ware originally placed in throo different 
place., on n grave wore brought togethor, aud deposited over 
the jar containing the auhe*.” 

There appears lo havo grown up, at tho same time, a belief 
in the minds of men that the ghost of tho dead man liven in the 
stones. The Khosia, a savage people that livo on our eastern 
frontier, ire accustomed to fiat up monoliths to honour their dead. 
A group of throe or five, or nina i3 set up for every dead nun 
whoso spirit is supposed to live in it ; throo, however, is the most 
common nntnlier. The village deities who are closely related to 
the spirits of tho dead, ftro similarly represented. P6ta-It&zn, 
the brother and some times thu husband of PWfcraiuma, h repre- 
sented by three pyramidal or conical stones. MiUiyittA is 
represented by three bricks in several places in the City of 
Madras. Throo brick* reprossut her in tyvuibudaa Street, jnat 
behind the University » indents’ Club. There is also a tiny 
shrino or tho goddess built of earth behind tho threu bricks. 
Another group of throe ropn'.ronta he/ in tho Spur Tank ; a third 
group oi seven rcprwenR* tho deity under a lw<* on tho Pantheon 
Rood between (ho Maternity Hospital and the Mo sen in. Another 
group of threw bricks s.-en in a Hiuall shiiue in tho cotupamid of 
thoOffli:* of »ho Director o? tlio Public Inntrnotinn prolmbly re- 
presents Monlitvar.k and not MAciydtIA. In all theso caws a .-iu- 
glo spirit or deity is roomicnM by throo or more etonofl. Thn 
number of stonea does not appear to produce any «lislo titrating 
eff-ct upon the spirit or the deity. Therefore, we cannot be far 

• I happened to bo pcsssnb ai a Drabman fnneml recently. On lha e«ond 
day, afu*- the pyre was extinguished and the bones of nil llie important joints wore 
pi died up, a rode reprcaantnticn of the bonus body «l raids with the oaliss, 
and tbreo email stones worn plaoad upon lit cheat. They wore then worshipped ; 
food and clothing me offered (o thorn. Finally they were thrown away. 

1533 — 2 


from the trulls, when we sny that the three 'tones in the midbt of 
the oirclo at Araarftvati represent (be spirit of Ilia dead uian. 

Tho circle of stonos snironuding tlio llneo atones, or moro 
generally the cairu lets attracted rnach attention. Two or threo 
theories which propose to explain its moaning have already been 
started. Mr. Longkunl is of opinion that tiio stone circles 
appear to bo only intended ns retaining walls for tho earth and 
stoucs which wore heapod over tho stone sapulchro in tho 
middle.* Mr. Longhurst's theory has nn exclusivo roforonco 
to tho cirolo surrounding cairns. He ignores completely tho 
simple stone circles, such as thosa that are found at AraarAvati, 
Moreover, his theory fails to give a satisfactory explanation even 
of those circles that surround the cairns. Their presence in 
places where they are not at all required to perforin the function 
of ‘ retaining walls ’ destroys the theory altogether. Another 
hypothesis is suggested by Air. William Crooko in his book 
Things Indian, Ho says, “Tho circle was probably intend- 
ed as ‘ghost-hedge.’ to restrain the spirit within these 
assigned limits, or a sign that the site was taboo."'’ This 
appeurs to bo true. Tho burial-ground is generally regarded as 
an impure place. Any cne who enters it is polluted, and he 
reqaires to bo purified. What is true of the burial-ground is 
equally true of individual graves. We find it recorded in the 
Rig- Veda that the Aryans considered the burial-grouud as taboo. 
?.-V. X. 13 tay « 

” I place tbu barrier (of stones) on this 

“ Bocounb that no one wny go beyond it ”, 

More generally, however, primitive people aro afraid of tho 
spirits of the dead. Tljs a common belief among them that tho 
ghosts of the dead nvo unhappy, and that they wreak vengeance 
upon tho living, it thoy neglect them after death. They are said 
to bo tho oansns of epidemics and famines. It is, therafora, nocos- 
sniy to propitiate thorn, and buy them off, by means of gifts. 

Tho Birhors of Central India are very much troubled by tho 
fear of evil spirits. It is said that ns soon as a Birhor is dead, 
" his disembodied spirit becomes tho prime object of fears and 
concern to his relatives and other peoplo of bia Buttlemeut. And 
tho observances and ceremonios customary daring this period 
appear to have for their main object, tho prevention of harm to 
the tanda through his spirit on the one hand and on the other 



hand of harm to his spirit through stray, malignant spirits. 
Even the offering o! fond laid out for the spicit appears to be 
proino! ed leas by n f.ialinjj of nil' otioo for liitu than from four 
and a doaira to Loop him agreoably cngngod at a diiiuiico.'* 

Again, "tho spirit of ilia deceased hovera ahoot in an unsettled 
stnto hotween tho land of the living on tho one tide, and spirit 
world on tlio other, mid is considered peculiarly dangerous to 
tho oommunity os well ns to iUelf. A woman dying within 
twenty-one days of child-birth, or a child dying within twenty* 
ono days of birth, may never ho admitted into the conmiuuiiy 
of ancestor spirits, os thoir spirits are always dangerous. In 
tliair case, therefore, a new doorway to the 1ml is opened to 
taka thoir corpses to the grave. These oorpscs Bin buried in 
a place apart from that whore the other corpsos nvo buried. 
Women nud not men bury such corpses ; tho men only dig 
tho graves aud go away. Thorne ora pricked into their foot to 
prevent them from leaving their graves." B 

The M undos of Cbota Nagpur worship a. set of spirits called 
‘banita bongos'. They consider it necessary to propitiate those 
spirits. The ' bonita bongas ’ “ are indeed no gods at all, nor arc 
they regarded by tho Mundas as such. These malevolent entities 
. . . . are believed to be earth-bound spirits of persons who died 
a violent and unnatural death. The propitiation of this class of 
spirits is tho duty uot of tho Munda householder, nor of the 
Manda village priest, Piihan— bnt of the ghost-tinder? Oc- 

casionally, indeed, the earth-bound spiii t of some deceased luombor 
of a family haunts hie old 0cld6 and may do squid mischief, and 
has in such a case to bo propitiated by sacrifices . . . ' 

It is interesting to note that tho Mundas who aro closely 
related to Birbort, urn in the habit o£ erecting rough oromloolii 
over tho gravos of their dead. 

"A grave is dug at r. soloctod spot in the S*wu (dnmttna), 
and in it tho earthen vessel containing the. bunas of the 
dacaaswd is Interrad. Along with tlio bones, a liulti rico, oil 
mixed with turmeric and a low ooppor ciins (pice) are put into 
a vessel. After the excavation U filled up. tho large atouo slab 
is placad upon it, supported on four small pieccB of stone at the 
four corners." ~ 

The connection between the simple circle of ^tCDcs and the 
cromlech is well kuowu. Tbe latter was developed from the 


former, after a long proeoss of o volution in tho art of building 

Il is from auu'n bcliv:£o as bnv t denormcd abov«. that tho 
CNtendre pi tetioo ol worshipping tho rpirua of tbo d ud arose. 
The truo religion of the m ih...) 3 in South India it based upon tlio 
fear of demons with which their minds aro fillod. It in thin four 
that indacod Cho nuoi-ut inhabitants of iho l^nd to lake many 
preoaoilonary atepi to eoilcain lihelt uahgmni nativity. Om< of 
th< htipi which they adopted in to cireoaucrile thoir splieio 
of activity by Mooting a magic oirolu of iitouoo around the grave. 
Tho stonu circles which form a shrilling feuturo of pro-hi,loiic 
graves bad thoir origin in tho need which tbo primitive peuplu 
felt to prevent the ghost, from wandering far from the graves. 

The meaning of iho stone- circles nfi Auumlv&ti lias been 
made clear by what ha* been said above ; but these circles were 
uot a peculiar feature ol Audbra social cnitoms in a by-gone age. 
They arc still erected in the Dcccao ucd Western India in a 
modified form. Tne inhabitants ol these parl3 arc nol in tho habit 
of erecting sione-eiroles around the graves of the dead ; but 
they build them in order to honour the demon, V6tui or BhfitAla 
whom they commonly worship. Vdtft.1 is at present regarded as 
an avat&ra of Siva ; but if wo examine his past career, the fact 
that he was or igi unify a demon becomes clear. The cull of this 
demon is said to be very ancient. Two arguments are generally 
advaucod to prove its antiquity, la the first place, " Vfilftl in 
Deccan has no imago in the shape of any animal whatever, It 
seems then possible that his worship was introduced previous to 
tho ciiotoiu of liUuiiing the gods to men and oilier unimals." 
B'coudly, " ViuU bin* no temple, but is worshipped in tlio op.n 
air, generally uutk-r tho shade of a wido*spre.idiog tioc. This 
oironmsinoco also oouuoct3 his worship with tho most nnoienc 
forms of idolatry.” “ 

Dr. Btovonoon givos us tho following description of tho 
shriuo of V<ilft|a: “The placo where VGlAI is worshipped is 
a hind el stonc-hungo or inclosuro of stones, usually in somewhat 
of n circular shape, tbo following is the plan after which thuse 
circles are couiirucU-d. At some distance from tho villago, under 
a green spreading tree of any of iho common indigenous species 
i« placed Vctdl. If as sometimes happens iu a bare country 
like the Bekhan, no tree at a convenient distance ia to bo found, 


Vfll&l is concent to raise his Load under llie campy of heaven 
without the blightuit artificial oovering whatever. The priuoipul 
figure whrr. il.u wi-raldp of VfiAl i. r « piiTonnrd is n rough 
unhewn sLono, of n or a triangular shape placed on its 
bnso, having ouo of its nidus fronting the cast, and if under 
i» tree, placed to tbo cast aide ol the live. The stone is of 
various dimensions." # William Grooko also gives a similar 
account ol tho circles of Votrtja: "In Deocaa ivc find numerous 
stone-circles erected in honour ot Vota|a, eke ghost- king or tho 
demon-lord. They are in form analogous to ike European 
monamrnts of thin class. Thocoultc in occupied by n large stone 
iu which tho donmn liv.s, and the surrounding ring bis fol- 
lowers." 10 

Tho passages that have been cited show that there is a 
Marked resemblance between tho Vetftja circles, and the circles at 
tho cemetery in the neighbourhood of Amarlvati. In both cases, 
there is a circle of stone 8 surrounding a stone or group of three 
atones. We shall now proceed to exomine Vet'll circles further, 
to see whether the resemblance between them aud the circles 
at Amar&vati is only superficial, or whether there is any 
tie of kinship which really unites them together. The nature 
of Vetuja mid the rites connected with his worship are vividly 
described in Kath&sarU-sigara, a sixth comury translation into 
Sous k{ it of the lirihalkaihS of Gup&d'nya, who ia supposed to 
bftVO lived somewhere betweeu the 1st century D.O. mid the 3rd 
century A.D. We undoratand from this work that the term 
VetAJu did not originally signify an individual demon but n class. 
It was applied to tho ghosts of a particular typo. They dwelt in 
cemeteries and livod upon tbu corpses. Thoy could assume tho 
forms of men or animals at will. Wo have a quaint description 
of VotA|a iu ouo place : « Then catnc a Vett|a. as tall as a 
black palmyra troo, with the neck of u oiunel, the face of an 
olophant, the foot of a buffalo, the oyes of an owl. and tho oars 
of a donkey." 11 But more frequently, tho V6(A|as wore believed 
to be ordinary ghosts which animated dead bodies. Tlmy could 
bo pressed into the service of mon, by means of powerful obartus. 
There grew up a desire in meu’s minds to master them by 
uttoring mantras. This dosiro gave birth to an extensive prac. 
tico of sorcery. A person desirous of subjugating a VetAJa was 
required to perform certain preliminary rites, which were uauully 


conducted in the swaMwa on tie night of the fourteenth day of 
the dark fortnight. Tho underlelting was, indw-d, risky, for the 
domun was iu the habit of playing many pranks lo deceive tho 
soroorer. If ho wore not courageous, he would bo nttm by tku 
demon. Many vircoreu, therefore, sought and obtained the help 
of lioroot, in order lo secure Iheir object. 

Tha rites that wore performed in connection with tho 
worship of Votija arc described in tho story of HtI Dariano : 

11 The joiooror adorned tti« corps# with rod garland* mid rod inndnh 
paste ; bo thou draw a big okrcle with tho powder of bumnn bone* ; 
pi too J In tho lour ODroora, four poll Oiled with bum in blood ; llghtod 
a lump with tho oil oxbiaoted from; mid making the corpvu 
nniiunMil by VolA|. Ho on its buck lit Ibo centra of tbo cirala, ha eeatod 
himself upon its chest. and begun to perform A>mo in its mouth, using 
human bonco na fuel." ” 

Another description of lbi3 rite is found in one of the stories 
of Vetija : 

" lie (tbo aarcorer; beiuiearcd Uie ground with blood, ond described 
thereon a circle with the while powder of pounded human bones ; 
placed a: the corners pota lilted with blood; lighted a lamp with the 
oil of buuiiaftf; and by live side of it performed tiOma in the fire." " 

In another story of tho same series we have a further des- 
cription of this rite : 

“ He (Ihe sorseror) helped the king lo dcpoiit tho corpse on tha ground. 
Then ho gave it u bath, applied eandal paste to it, udorued it with 
garlands, and established it in tbo middle of » circle. lin besmeared 
big body with ashes. pul on n aocrlficial cord of twisted hair, covered 
himself With a winding sheot, and medihliag for a momout, bo sum- 
inoned by tue power of hia charm* u V«t.i| i into tho corpio, and 
woMhippad him m aooordance with the regulation*, Tue drama?* 
gave VotA|n argkva with buiuuu blood lu » liuunin akull ; offorod hliu 
Bowers an! perfume* ; gave dAilpa with human ojea; and ofltred him 
human Hath at a solemn meal." 14 

Yet anolbor description 

" Having been thue dragged by the foroo of hie mantras I onterod the 
fmaftlaa, which wm full of bones and akalli, guirouudoJ by Mittal, 
and resounding with the din caused by the cries of HaiVaro*, io a 
trlgbleaed ocnditlon. There I saw tbo i TAptlita who laid n corpse 
on its lock in tho middle of a circle, performing Uio hdma In the 
Bra." »» 

In all these descriptions, two important points arc notice- 
able : the circle of pounded human bones : and the position, in 



its centre, of tho corpse to animate which the V6t Ala was summon- 
ed. The circle is tho moat primitive and the fundamental idea, 
It "acts naa prison house from which escape is impossible." 1 * 
The c hosts of the dead are lcupt within this circle. 

Tho purpose for which no many stono circles warn built in 
tho ancient cemetery in tho neighbourhood of AraarAvati has now 
been made clour. They were intended to restrain the ghost* 
from moving far from their gravos. Tho idea that the ghosts 
could bo pressod into tho service of man came later. It was thru 
that the sorcorors attempted to summon those ghosts into dead 
bodies and imprison them in a magic circle, until they promised 
them obedience. Vetaja was not the only demon that, became 
the object of tho sorcerer’s magic. The Yakubas were similarly 
summoned to servo the masters of powerful iucantations. But 
VetAJo, was the most powerful and cruel of all the demons. 
This explains his great popularity with the magicians. 

The cult of VetUja, however, has undergone some modifi- 
cations, siucc tho days of GuuAtfbya. What was originally a 
class name became the name of an individual demon, who i3 
considered at the present day an aualcua oE Siva. The circle of 
pounded human bones gave placo to the modem circle of stones ; 
and the corpse disappeared tj make room for tho pyramidal or 
triangular atone in which the demon is supposed to live. The 
worship of an amorphous class of demons crystallized into the cult 
of a single devil. What was originally a temporary shrine took 
the shape, in course of lime, of a solid and permanent circlo of 

‘ J. W. Brcok. 

* I hid. 

* Thurntoo 

* Lanckurat 

■ William Orooko 

• lj. 0. Hoy 
? ii 

• Stevenson 

*° William Orooko 
» Vankatarflrs Sistr 
•* do. 

*■ <lo. 

14 do. 

*' do. 

" renror 

Tho Prluiltlvo Tribe* of Nilfilrli, p. Ofl. 


Cuitoi end Tribes, Vcl. I.p. 2(8. 

The Madras ArehooloRlcsl Report— 1D12-18, 
Things Indian. Ip. 58. 

Tho lllrbore, pp 201 07 ; 200 71. 

Tbe Mundaa, pp. -Ifla-tM. 

J. R. A. S., Vol. V, p 192-100. 


Thlnae Indian. 

Ka»hA-«arlt-a*fluw, Vol. II, p. 800. 

Ibid., pp. 713-10. 

Ibid., p. B*4. 

Ibid , p. bis. 

Ibid., pp. 1020-1080 
The Ocean Story, p. 100. 



Wo have suggested, in the Inst chip tor, tint tbo fundn- idea underlying tho primitive oirclo of stoucs is the magic 
circle within whioli the sorcerer attempted to imprison ghosts. 
The connection bntwoon tho magic circlo and tho shrines of 
V 0111)11 is alto lmowo. The shrines of VctRlo, however, do not 
help ns I u rtli or, in tracing the history of the South Indian 
templo. We hovo to look in other quartora for now materials. 
Tho social life of ihu Todiw of the Nilgiris presents us certain 
very interesting features. It is tu rn that wo have to snarch for 
now materials. Wo have already referred to the Toda Saimma. 
It ia said that at the close of tho 'dry funeral,' the Todus bury 
tlio sknll bouo of the dead man iD a corner of the Azirnro and 
place a block of atone over the snot. Then they bow over the 
atono in the Toda fashion, in order to show their respect for the 
dead man. The Toda uzitrsms ?.rc closely connected with the 
cairns. lkocka points oat that the stone-circle is ' the funda- 
mental idea’ of cairns and barrows. 

“ Now," says lie, “ not only may the elide of atones be called tlic funds, 
montol idea cl ealjm and barrowa, but nou:« ct th«u eonslet of lnsigni- 
lieant oirclo 0! alone*, hardly to to roeognHed train Toda Arinins 
o«cti’, by trees ami biuhe* which indteata Uieir grcatci nge."‘ 

The Toda "Xtflram appears to be a link connecting the sim- 
ple circle of .stones with the cairns. The done-circles, barrows, 
cairns and other kindred slrnctarM ore generally attributed a 
tiibo of wages culled Kurniobni, who dwell upon the slope* of 
tho Nilgiii Hill". Although thoy do not make use of stona- 
circles in their funomls, it in interfering to nolo that they put 
thorn to a quite different use. Most of ibo Kurumba temples 
are more or lens identical with tho Toda XiftniiM in oppearanco. 
A Kurumba tciuplo oonsists ot a cirolo ot atones in tho ountre of 
which stands a block of stone. It is said that tho Knnunbaa 
worship " a rough round etoae under the name of Hiriodova, set- 
ting it up either in a oave r or iu a circle of stones. . . They do not 
consider thee tana aiinfam, although they profess to bo&aivitos ." 9 
According to Mote, the sums doity iB worshipped by the Todas 

The Toda Am nm. 


also- Tho one material object to whioh they offer worship is " the 
sacred buffalo-bell which they loolc upon as « representation of 
tho deity called by them HiriadCva, or tho Chief God." B The 
temple of this god is called ' boath.’ It is according to Mar. 
shall, " a building consisting of a conical thatched roof on a cir- 
cular wall of very stont planking. Tho teraplo is surrounded by 
a macsivo wall of uncut siono, put together without cement, two 
ouhils broad and throo in height." » Within this teraplo Hark- 
nets found “ a single stone," 4 though there is considorahlo dift'or- 
onoe of opinion on this point. Tho structure and design of this 
temple are euontUlly the same tw thoao of tho ciroles at ArnarA- 
vati and tho shrines of VetAja. The surrounding wall of uncut 
stone is but lha natural development of the primitive oircle of 
rudo atones. The conical temple is roughly identical in shape 
with tho stone in which Vfitnja is supposed to live.* 

The Irula.3, another triba dwelling on the siopeB of these hills, 
make use of stone-circles, as temples. Although they are con- 
siderably influenced by Hind a religious ideas, their notions of 
temple architecture remain unaffected. “ On the top of the 
Rangaswimi peak, they have two temples, consisting of circles 
of rough stone, each enclosing on upright stone, tho larger 
called Doflda and tho smaller Chikka (little) Rangasw&mi." e 
Although the stone enclosed by each circlo is called RangaswAmi, 
a name of Vishnu peculiar to South India, it pniufrt to a primitive 
triba) deity, who became identified with Visbuu on account of 
the predominant influence of Hinduism. 

• Tho magic circlo still clings to our temples. Although Its present* Is Ml 
RcaoraHy noticed. The following ptssige is very interesting 

-One of tho must Important items In practices Velio or otberwlso Is Ilia 
Vsnlrs. Y »ntra (Slit. Niyantrn -binding) is any ojatrivance by which ah entity 
may be bound to any spot lor purpoeosof worship. This generally cooilsts of 
geometrical Agurea mode of motals. usually gold. silver. brass, copper, etc. In 
such a figure mantra, or Use letters composing It, are arranged In a particular 
woy. Such yanlroe oro enld to l>* the basis of Idols la Hindu Templet. Those 
yantras being made of metal Can last only for a lima. 

" Storlee are often told how Idols lost tholr povroi because tho yar.trn is worn 
out, or because on renewing the yantra has been mode wrongly. Temples no 
built on yantric principles Tiro great tempis at SrtngOrl Matt tn .Mysore Pro- 
vince built by Vldyironya Is worthy of notice. It is built in else form of Sr| 
Chakra (auspicious dreto). Yiunlras, though popularly associated mainly with 
abbichtra (black roa^lc) practices. play no inconsiderable part in the Vedio rll/asl 

" From a boohlot coUed " Th* Dhotas, I'rctas, and P&Xcbm" by 

R. A«ANT»»:aisH»A Saarar, Ip. 19) . 



Whit is said above in enough to show chut ibo primitive 
stone-circles which were originally built around the graves to 
prevent the ghosts from going abroad and working mischief, were 
transformed in course of lime, into the ahriuesof ihu gods whom 
the people worshipped. It is noeesiury that we should trace 
tho growth of this praow and discover tho link which connects 
the gravos with those primitive tmuples, We must scorch for 
it in the cult that grew very early wound the gmvss. 

To order to appoaae the wrath of the ghosts, people used to 
offsr thaui gilt i of various kinds on certain days. This resulted in 
tho devolopiuonfc of a cult around tho graves which consequently 
became objects of popular worship, Tho practice of worshipping the 
gravos continued even after the method of coubtructing tho graves 
underwent a change. Tho simple stone-circles yielded place 
to more pretentious structures. Tho architecture of tha Rraves 
becams more complex uud elaborate. Harrows and oairnu which 
demanded greater effort and engineering skill came into exist- 

The causes of this change are not clearly known. II is not 
possible tc explain why the cairn took the places of the stone- 
circle. It is probable that the cairns and other elaborate tombs 
had their origin in the primitive habit of abandoning a house 
where a death hod taken place after buryiug the corpse in it. 
Traces of this custom are seen in the fuuera'. rites of tho Todas. 
The body of a dead Toda is invariably placed in a ' funeral hut ’ 
which is generally built for tha occasion. In certain Toda mounds 
tho village dairy takes its place. All tho • funeral huts,’ unloas 
they happen to be dairies, ore either abandoned or burnt down. 
Hirers gives us an interesting dosoription of these huts: "In 
general, " says be, " a funeral but is specially built for the reoep- 
tion of the dead body, this hut being usually emoted within a 
stone-cirdn found at tho funeral place. A', tbo funeral of a male' 
this hut is called • kertnodrpwli ’ or • neilpali.’ It is left standing 
after the funeral, and may bo used on a second occasion, if it has 
not fallen into too great disorder." 

“ At tho funeral of women a hut is specially built for tho 
reception of the body, but is always burnt down after each funeral. 
This but is callad ‘ urs ’ or house." T 

The first point of interest in the above is tho presence of the 
funeral hut in the middle of a stone-circle. The close association 


of Iho tenoral hut und Llie stone-circle connects the latter with 
the primitive circles of otono which we have already described. 
Noxt, we must notice tho practice of allowing a funeral hut to 
stand or burning it down. Even when it is allowed to stand, it 
is never used for any other purpose, except probably for a second 
funoml. Tho repeated use of a single hut is duo to considerations 
of eoonouiy and convenionco. Tho original practice was to build 
a separate hut for the reception of every corpse. Wheu that 
was ovor, tho but was ubumlonod or burnt down. Lastly, tho 
namoB of these huts themselves betray their origiuul connection 
with dwelling bouses: huts built for tho recoption of corpses of 
women ora called 'ara ’ or house; whereas those thalurc built for 
men are called ‘ pSli,’ a word which aleo moans 'a dairy.’ Now, 
tbo dairy is closely related to the funeral hut. " Among some sec- 
tions of the Todas, the body is plaoed, not in a funeral hut, but 
in a dairy before tbe last rites.’’ ' In others, the funeral hut is 
built on the model of dairies with three rooms. Tt is clear from 
this that the funeral huts built for males are somehow connected 
with dairies. The early Todas were a wandering tribe of pastoral 
nomads. Their wealth consisted of their herds of buffaloes ; 
their chief business in life was the management of their dairies ; 
in fact, the dairy W03 the place where their life activity was 
concentrated. Therefore, when a man of the community died, 
ho was buried in bis dairy which was subsequently abandoned. 

The funeral but appears to be related to the cairns, for tho 
hill tribes of tho Nilgiris call them jiuu-mflM* or ‘ houseB 
of death.’ This view gains strength from the remarks of 
Dr. Hunt who pointB out that tho ancient graves wore built on 
the model of humau habitations.* 

What gavo solidity and permanonoe to the funeral hut 
appeurs to bo tho development of new religions ideas. Tho cuirn- 
builder was " a firm believer in aftor-life." Porhnps, ha believed 
lilco tho Toda that tho people in tbo othor world " live in much 
the name way as tbo inhabitants of this world." 10 Ho thought, 
thoicforo, that “ whatever is necessary, useful and ornamental 
in this world would be equally so in the next— tho warrior 
would require his sword, the husbandman his agricultural 
implements." " In order to provide for the needs of tho dead 
in tho other world, the cairn-builder stocked the tomb with all 
articles of "food and drink, cooking pots and weapons.’’ l * To 


secure their safety, ho built it with solid granite blocks, below 
the surface of the earth. 

Brocks draws attention to thin process of transition among 
the pro-historic graves upon tho Nilgiris. lie shows that Toda 
A zd rams approximate to cho cairns and that thn barrows ore 
closely connected with tho oromlochs.* * Au tha art of sepulchral 
architecture dovolops, tho stono-circle* show a tendency to 
disappear, although they continue to bo erected around the cairns 
uud tho oromlcohs occasionally. 'Xho fact that tbo cairns und 
alliod uuucturos are graves is shown by tliu umoc which is given 
them by tho peoplo upon the hills. They are called tdou-man* 
‘houses of death.’ Occasionally, the savage Kurumbas of the 
hills still make aso of " cliromlecbB for burial purposes, and place 
the long water-worn pebble in it .” 14 According to Wnlliouse 
tho pcbblo is called ' deva kotta hallu ' ; 11 and is supposed to 
represent the spirit of tho dead man. 

Some of these funeral monuments are still worshipped by 
people in certain places. We ate indebted to llelz for describ- 
ing a cairn which is regularly worshipped by the Kurumbas : 

" I wi ones on a preaching excursion in a district neur tho southern 
boundary of tho bills, and not far from tbo Kurunibn village, called 
Multi, ana alter the lulxmrs of the day fob u ooriosity to op«n a cairn 
which bappoiicd Ua be in the neighbourhood. Much to my turprite, 
however, the llidogi headmen presont would not permit me to do 
so, not on account of any objection they had themselves to make, but 
bccnuie ai they said, it waa tbs resldonoe of tho god of tho Kuruiulas 
who came Up frequently from Multi, in ordor lo worship tho god 
of Iholr forefathers. This Is the only occasion on which I have ever 
known any of tho hill tribes venerate a cairn as the depository of 
tho allies of o dead uncos tor,” * 4 

Thn Maloi-Ariyuns (Mal.u-araiyans)of Travanoore, according 
to Walhouae, “make ininiataro cromlechs of small slabs of stone 
and place within tliem n long pebble to ropresunt tha doad. . . , 
(They) odor aruk (liquor) uud sivvutuieulM to the dopurtod 
spirit ” ,T which is supposed to hover uoar tbo miniature 

The Kurumbas and tha Maloi-Ariyaus ure not the only 
peoplo who worship the cairns and tho cromlechs. Tho other 
tribes dwelling on the Nilglri Hills do the same. Each Badaga 
community keeps, according to Breaks, " u Iiurumba priest called 
Kani-kuruiuha (Kauik) The oQice ia hereditary. Iu April 


and May before Ihu sowing limo, a goat or young buffalo ia 
hiippliid by thu aoltlvaiois, and the Kani-kurumba ia auuimonod 
to malm tho sacrifice. Surrounded by the villager*, the officiat- 
ing priest outa off iho head of the animal, and sprinkles thu blood 
in three directions, oast, west and south, and ulsoou a water- worn 
stone which is considered a ‘ lifttu (natural)— lingam’ (huUu. 
Ukgam). ... la JatakanOi'i-firdma, this ouroiuony is performed 
at a cromlech ; iu Tdiiacl at a rude circle of otonos surrounding a 
water-worn atono for lingam. They call thu place the Kuruniba- 
kovil (tho Kurmoba Church)." *• In addition to this, the 
Badugas worship at a largo number of cromlechs. Speaking of the 
inoaumonts of this cli\B9, Walhouse expresses the opinion that 
although their original intention was undoubtedly sepulchral, he 
does not fool certain that it was so with respect to soma of 
thorn.* 0 Brceks states his opinion more definitely : 44 They inaj 
havu been purely memorial, and have contained only perishable 
offerings of rice Ac. such aa are made by the Kurumbas and the 
Kola of Chota Nagpur."'*'' 

This is probable. In that esse, wo have here an instance 
wberea structure which was originally worshipped as a sepulchre 
is divorced from its original purpose and put to a novel use. 
The grave is thu3 transformed into n temple, although the 
atmosphere of the graveyard still cliDgs to it. 

The cromlechs or 4 soul-houses,’ as Mr. Longhurst calls 
them, are seen all over South India. They usually consist 44 of 
one large flat slab of stone supported by throe upright stabs set 
on ond or on edge so as to form a small chamber with one side 
open to servo as an entrance. Thoy have been erected as special 
abodes for tho ghosts of the departed, and also as votivo 
offerings made by tho survivors to propitiate tho spirits of tbs 
dead."* 1 

Mr. Longhurst selects two of those to illustrate an important 
stage in thu development of the South ludian temple, when the 
simple 4 soul-housu 4 was transformed into tho ubodo of tho deity. 
At Knmbadur a village iu lias Kalyandrug taluk of tho Auuniapur 
district, thore stand 44 three very interesting old dolmens which 
bavo beon set up as diva ahrinos." , * Mr. Longhurst is of 
opinion that wo may had hero tho prototype of the so-called 
Di a vidian or ordinary Souih Indian type of Hindu temple.* 1 
Ho proceeds to describe these shrines at some length. As it is 


vary important in connection with the following discussion, wo 
tuko the liberty of quoting him in full, 

'•In plats III Fig (») wo have two examples of theeo Siva ehrlnee standing 
olo»n tcgnlhor, tlm mm lu tho foreground It mnob (ho Mine in lire and stylo 
no lb« Lu go Jolmon shown in pUto I Fig. (a), only It hot boon convoked Into 
a Sira’s loiuyle by tho introduction ol a otono Hiiro iuriouo«3od by a low flat 
yoni-pedcehrl of early type, ioJ n dfntn»RO hole for tbo exit of tho holy 
water piurcd over tbo Unga, b*J boon out through bho urns slab forming tho 
north will ot tho olirloo ue may bo teen In plato IV (a). At a oborli dlotanoo 
to tho south- treat of thlo shrine, wo Ivivo no longer a ptlmltlvo dolmen but a 
onrofully buUt toinplo onohrining a tall otono ling* on a yanl-p«doolal of tho 
uianl typo. Tho Hire# tide wallo nnd tbo roof are not built uf roughly howo 
»t»bi, m wa Cud In bho ourllor oxauiplo, but oonelot of font largo ilab* of otaoo 
onrofully cut and dressed, nnd accurately fitlod at the angloo. Tho aide walls 
reel upon .% moulded plinth about oue foot In height, nnd arc not planted lu 
the ground liko tbo wall slabB of a dolmen 

" At o abort die tanoe to tho touth-nnsl of these fcwoehr'ocs is Iho dolmen, 
toiuplo illuetintod in plato III Fig. (b) ood pUte IV (b). Thin also ie a Siva 
•hrino containing a otono lioR« and yoai-st»ud iilco tbo otliexo just mentioned. 
The L'onobrnctlou af the atone chamber id similar to tho dolmen, temple shown 
in pl&to III F.g. <i»>- Only horo Uto shrine ehnmber hag boon provided with a 
hill or mantana la Iront connected with the shrine by a email passage, the 
entire structure being mofed with three xougbly-hotm flat slabs of granite. 
The plan of the building is tho utuol kind for the email Hindu temples in the 
so-callod Dr* vidian *bylo- ,, *‘ 

Mr. Longlinzst is quite right in his supposition that the 
Kambadur group of dolmen shrines * represents the ordinary South 
Indian type of Hindu temple,’ although it may be doubted whether 
tbay were originally dedicated to god Siva. The presence of a 
cylindrical etono in the sanctum of a temple need not necessarily 
inoau that the temple is dedicated to Siva, In spite of the grant 
importance that is attached to this group, it dooB not properly 
represent thu transition stsga in the davulopiuenfc of the SouUi 
Indian temple so well us souio of the primitivo monument* 
existing in tho country. In the Coded District*, the dolmen 
country par uxcolluuco, there lives it community of priiuitivo peoplo 
called KurubM whoso racial identity with tho Kurumbas of tho 
Nilgiris has been woll established. Like tho Kurumbna, they 
worship the graves where the spirits of the dead are supposed to 
dwell. Some of these gravos have developed in course of time 
into big shrines. These shrines of the Kurubas are represen- 
tative of the South Indian temple during the period of transition. 
That this is so is dearly shown by the following description 


Taken from alio Arehaclogioal faport. Southern Qirclt. 1915-10. 



Froca The Catlei and Tribet. Vol. IV. 


“The leinploa of this casta," aaya Thurston, “art usually 
rather extensive, but rntia low structures resembling an enclosed 
mantapaui supported by rongh sionu-pillarn, with r» smnll inner 
shrine, where the idols arc plaoed daring ibo festival time.. A 
wall of stone encloses n considerable spuuo round the lotnplo, und 
this is oovorod with sumll structures formed of four flat stones, 
three being the walls an i the fourth tb«> u>ot. The skioo faring 
the open sidu 1ms a figure sculptured upon it, rrpitweiiliiig the 
deceased Gaudu or Pujari to whom it is dedicated. J'or each 
person of rank, one of these monument;, is eroctud, and here 
pariodicnlly, and always during the annual feasts puja is madcuoi 
only to the spirits of tho deceased chiefs, but ulso to those of all 
who have died in ibe clau. It scorn? impossible uot to connect 
this with llioso strange structures called by natives Pandava’s 
temples.” 9S 

This description 13 very important for our purpoic, for it is 
the real link that connects tbc cromlechs nf the Nilgais with 
the Hindu temples of South India. Iu the first place, it clearly 
demonstrates that the grave and the temple ore very closely 
connected, and that the latter i» a development of the former. 
The kinship of the graves of GaU(Ju« with lha so-called Piin<3ava/s 
temples is admitted ; but tbc relationship between the graves 
of the Gau^AH and tho shrine iu the interior is uot pointed 
out. The design und the general plan of construction arc same 
in both the cases. "The temple/ 1 in the woula of Thurston. 
" resembles a. umntapam supported upon rough stone pillars, 
with a small inner shrine." The only difference between this 
and the graves of the Gaudas is Unit in the formor, four corner 
pillars take the placn of thro* granite bloaks supporting the 
roof. If we compare the Kurumba temple on p. Ifi3 of 
Vol. IV of tho Oaslos ami Tribes with the pictures of Kurumba 
•giavos on page 155 of the name volume, tho kinship of the 
Kurumba shrino with tho gravos of tho Gaa<his on tbc one hand, 
and tho striking reaemblauce of the latter to tho cromlechs 
on the other become at ouce evident. That ihe shrmo of tho 
Kurumba god is oonnoclod with their d<.ad heroes in corroborated 
by the nature of the god himself. He is called ' Btra-Dfivaru,* 
which moans 'a hero-god.’ 

"The Cnrubaru (of Mysore) helieve/' soys Buchanan, " that 
tho&e uieu who die without having been married become Vlrikas 


to whose images, at a frreat annual feast which is celebrated on 
purpoao, offerings of red cloth, jaggery, rice, dec., are made. If this 
feast be omitted, the Vtrikas beoomo enraged, occasion sickness, 
kill the sbeop, alarm tho poople by horrid dreams and when they 
walk ont at night strike them on the back. They aro only to be 
appealed by the cslobratioa of the proper feast.”*® 

The term ' Vtriba ’ also menus ' a hero/ Tho ‘ Btra-D6varu ’ 
isnono other than the univawulined spirit of a departed Kuruba. 
It is quite natural that bis shrine should resemble the graves 
and be surrounded by them. 

Secondly, wo must notice tho wall of etono. which " encloses 
a considerable space round tho tcmplo.” This wall also reminds 
us of cairns and cromlechs. It is the primitive oirolo of stones 
surrounding the pre-historio gravcB in a developed form. Although 
tho circle of stones tended to disappear generally with the develop- 
ment of sepulchral architecture, it survived in certain places. In 
tho Mysore country, some of the dolmens arc surrounded by stone- 
circles. We have already noticed that in the case of the Toda 
‘ boatb,’ it had taken tbe shape of the sniTounding wall. Thore is 
one peculiarity of some of the Mysore dolmens which must bo 
noted. They have " arch stones on the entrance-side ot the inner 
edge of the stone circleR. These arcbeR are thin slabs of dark 
stone, roughly shaped by bammer-dressing into a rounded 

arch Tn east Mysore dolmens are found enclosed by four 

great aroh-ahaped slabs 9' or 10' high, sot up parallel to, and a 
little apart from, the four walls of the dolmen.” 

These feature* of the ancient funeral monuments havo pass, 
ad, in course of ages, into our tcmplo architecture. Tho prQJc&ra 
and tho gates which form the prominent featuree of tho South 
Indian tcmplos have aomo down to us from tho graveyards of 
pro-historic timos. , 

Tho rudn sbrino' of BlnvDfivarn thus prasonts many points of 
interest to the student of ancient institutions. A more searching 
investigation of this institution is well worth tho trouble. 

Rtf t men : 

* Erects ... ., Tbe Primitive Tribe, of Nilgirig, pp. 00-7. 

* Do. ... ... Ibid., p. S3. 

* F. Mel* Tlie Tribe* InlabiUag the Nilglrl Hills, p. 17. 

* William E. Marshal A PhronologUl Amoog** ibe Todoi, p. 153. 


’ Harkr.eas. Henry 


A Singular Aboriginal Raoa. p. 33. 

‘ J. W. Dreek* 


The Primitive Tribes, p. 73, 

T Rlvere ... 


Tod .a, pp. 338-40. 

• Do. ... 

• *• 


• Dr. Hunt 

• •• 

Journal of tho Hyderabad Aidunologital Society, 
1U10 July. P p. 331-9. 

•* River* ... 


Todns, p. Ml. 

“ Mnnrloe Philip* 


lot. Anti., Vd. II. p. 338. 

" Dr. Hunt 


Juunutl of the Hyderabad Arcla Society, 191(1, Jaly, 
pp. Ml 3. 

“ J. W. Droekt 


The Primitive Tribe*, pp. 90-07, 103. 

»• Do. 



11 M. J. Welliou.o 


tad. Aol . Vol. II, p. 410. 

w P. Mel* ... 


Tribes Inhabiting the Nilgiti Hill*, p. 195. 

» M. 3. Waltou-.o 


Ind. Ant., VoL VI, p 4. 

J. VV. Ereekt 


Tho Primitive Tribes, pp. 6S-1. 

*• M. J. Waibotue 


Ind. Ant. Vol. 11. p. 310. 

*• J. W. Breeks 

• • • 

The Primitive Tribes, p. 105. 

»» Longliares 


Annual Report oi Arch. I>ept., Southern Circle, 

19 Do. 

• M 


M Do. 






*•’ E. Thurston 


The C&i t«s and Tribes, Vol. IV. 

B * Buchanan 


Travels &c„ VoL I. pp. 376-0. 

v 0. S. Gburye 


Man in India, VoL VI, p. 13. 




Wo bag ad, in tho first chapter, with tho statement chat the 
Rods And goddesses or the original inhabitants ol Southern Tndio 
Ltd no temples. Noxb, we traced the development of temples 
from tho graves of tho departed heroes and chirfs belonging to 
tho prediiaCorio times; hut those temples had no connection 
whatsoever with any of the gods whom tho pooplo worshipped. 
Wo know from literature nutl inscriptions that from very early 
times our gods and goddesses were housed in very largo temples. 
How did this happen ? How did these gods and goddesses couio 
to live in temples? This is tho problem to which we have to 
find a solution. Once again, we must atari from the graveyard ; 
but it must be noted here that the spirits of tho dead, with 
whom the temple in early days was very closely associated, are 
quite different from the gods. 

The passage which wo have quoted in a previous context 
from Buchanan contains the solution which we aie in search of. 
He describes a belief current among the Kurubas of Mysore, 
according to which a certain class of dead men becomes Vlrikas. 
Now, Vlrika is not a mere domon, but he bos also a divine aspect. 
The Vlrikas, therefore, are the spirits that are on the borderland 
between the heaven of the gods and tho land of the demons. 

The Kurubas ore not tho only peoplo who believe in the 
Vtrikis. The IdiRfts, the (4ollas, the Boyas, and a number of 
oilier tribes hold similar beliefs. Horo wc arc introduced to n. 
phase of religion whioh exhibits n tendency to obliterate tho 
distinction between the demon and tho deity. Tho obliteration 
of difference becomes complete in the cult of the villngu deities. A 
large nurabor of these deities, especially in the Andhradesa, begin 
their career from tbo oonfincs of the graveyard, fn course of 
time, thoir origin is forgotten, and they arc established as power- 
ful deities. Dr. Elmore is of opinion that " tho Rods of tho Dravi- 
dians aro almost universally human beings returned to earth. 
Wo oanuot agree with Dr. Elmore to the total oxcont cf his 

ran rniMiTivB temple and thr temple op village deitv 27 

:ontension, although we can undorotond how he arrived at tho 
»bove conclusion. The /nets that forced on him this conclusion, 
ire connected with tho history of a uujnbor oi tho no-called 
Oravidiaii deities- VVe shall consider somo of Chain a» specimens. 
\Vo begin with Kaoaka-Durgatoma, the goddas* pro ii ding over 
lie destinies of the town of Be z wad a. She in v« ry well known 
)ver tbu whole ol the Andhra country. 

The origin of th« goddm- is described m follows:—" There 
were seven Brahman brothers in u village, who had ono sister 
Kauakuimna. Her conduct filled them with suspicion, and 
when sho beard their state of mind, aha drowned herself in a 
well. The people of tho village feared a police investigation, and 
they started the story tint Kanakamma hud become a 8akti and 
jntered tho hills. 

“ The story t hat Kanakaunaa bad become a goddess was not 
to easily stopped as was the investigation. When the body was 
taken from the well uud buried, the people began to worship her 
at that place, and soon built her a temple.’’ 1 

Another village deity, Lingamma has tho following story 
associated with her origin: 11 In Muppar4zav&rip*|em, Darsi 
talnk, Nullora district, liveil a woman called Lingamma. She 
was of the Sftdra caste, but she and her husband wore poor, and 
worked in the house of a rich man of the same caste. Once 
some valuables were missing from the house, and suspicion 
pointed to Lingiunma. Her employer made her much troablo, 
and was about to tuku legal proceedings against her. when she 
ended the matter by jumping into tho well and drowning 

" A fuw days after this tragic death, troubles begun to cornu 
to the household of her employer. A little lutor Lingnmum 
appoarod to him twice in u dream, and told him that because 
of his cruolty, she was bringing these troubles upon him. 8be 
also threatened him with worse disasters, if ho did nol instituto 
a proper worship for her. His response evidently was not 
satisfactory, for Lingamma immediately brought a icourgo of 
cholera upon tho village, and appeared to many as a devil. All 
wore now thoroughly frightened, and led by Lingsuma’s former 
employer, they built a lemplo of some importance, nod prepared 
an image of both Lingamma and her husband, and instituted 
the worship already described.”' 


The story of Podflamma, the tntelory goddess of the village 
of Podili in theNellore District runs as followH " Some &Odra 
farmers lived in a hamlet at some distance from the present 
village of Podili. One day they wore treading out the grain 
with the oxon in a distant field. Thoir sister was to bring them 
the luld-day meal. On tho way in a lonely place, she met a man. 
She pul down her basket, and was lulu in arriving with food. 
When she arrived, hor brothers caught her and threw her 
beneath the feet of oxen, for they had been watching her while 
sho came, and believed hor to bo guilty. 

"The girl, evidently killed, disappeared under tho feel of tho 
cattle among tho slioavus. Later when they removed the Btraw 
to winnow the grain, they did not find tho body, but found a 
stone. A man standing near became possessed with tho spirit 
of the girl, and she spoke through him. Sho said that she had 
been killed uujuslly, and that they must worship her, or great 
evils would follow. All the people who heard this were terrified, 
and placing the stone in a desirable place, they began its 
worship.”* The fame of Podilamma increased, and she became 
the goddess presiding over the village of Podili. The history 
of a boat of olher village deities such as Buchaumia, Lc«]a- 
thamma, Gonti, &c., is similar. 

It appears from what has been said above that it is only 
women that become deities after death. This is generally the 
case; but there are certain notable instances, where men also 
become famous as deitios. In a village in the Kauduknr taluk, 
thore lived a Mldiga who " knew many mantrnms, and all tho 
people stood in groat fear of him . 4 ... Ho ostablishod illicit 
rotations with u casle woman, tho daughter of a rich man." The 
father of tbo girl who naturally disliked his daughter's illicit 
connection with the low c»»te man, lured him ut midnight into 
tho temple of Poloramma, and had him murdered. Soon after 
tho murder, many troubles camo upon tho villagers. " Homo 
of the people went mad, and some obildron and cattle suddenly 
sickened aud died. Tho villagers approached a divmor who 
beesme possessed with the spirit of tbo dead M&diga and 
demanded worship. Bat they said, ‘Cbee! Would wo worship 
aMftdiga?' Their troubles continued, and thoy finally agreed 
to worship him as a deity.” 0 


The reputation of this MAdiga deity is confined to a few 
villages. It pales into insignificance when computed to K6tappa 
Kou^ssvAiui who had a similar origin. “The legend runs that 
about one hundred years ago, a roan named Ycllaiuanda Kdtiab, 
of the Lingo Dalija division of the Hfidra caato ruined the wife 
of a shepherd when aim was herding tho cattle on the bill. Tha 
deed became known to hor husband, and bo dotcru>iocd to seok 
revenge. Tho next day, ho wont himself to herd the cattle, and 
when Kdtiab camo oxpcctiug the woman ns usual, her husband 
fell upon him, and killed him. He also killed his wife near the 
same spot. 

“Soon after thin, the villagers heard a voico rising from the 
place where the blood fell. Tho voice threatened thorn with 
death, if they did not build a temple and institute worship for 
the murdered miiD whose blood was crying to them from tho 
ground. The temple was built for K6tiah co whom the name 
of Kotappi KouiJasvAmi is now given. A shrino was erected 
to the m ordered woman who i3 now worshipped as a Sakti.” 9 

The fame of Kdtappa Konflasvftmi has spread over the 
whole of the Telngu country, and he is even identified with 
Siva. The origin of this deity isal most forgotten, and people 
visit the temple built over the grave of Ivdtiab merely as s 
shrine dedicated to Siva. The evolution of gods from human 
beings appears to be an old process. Tho poet Sztn&tha who 
lived in the fourteenth century makes the following observation 
regarding the religion of PalnAd : 

“ fertoa nvSg 


“Tho heroes arc the divino Ungat ) Chcnna is Vishiju. On 
enquiry KAlabbairava is found to be Kalla-r&turlja ; Ankaimua, 
the Snlcti, is Annapurna." T 

These instances are sufficient to illustrate the point. Tho 
tendency to identify the spirits of those who dio under excep- 
tional circumstances with tho village dcitios is common. The 
conclusion that "gods of tho Drnvidions are almost universally 
human beiugs returned to oarth ’’ appears to be just, How- 
ever, anyone drawing such a conclusion yields to a great temp- 
tation. It is not true that the Pravidian gods are always 1 human 


beings returnod to earth.’ The grout Calais ia whom almost 
every Hindu in South India believes ore certainly no! 'human 
boinge returned to earth.' ' This in shown by the prosunco, in a 
number ot villages, of grAnta&ioalda who huvonlbogtjthrr no con- 
nection with the dead. Tn those villugostho 'jaUimUonta is simply 
oallcd ' Orntuma or the vi'llnga-mothor.’ There are no Uganda 
connected with her oxaopc that shn is one of the seven sisters 
and n wife of Aivn. No doubt, tho spirits of a certain class of 
the dead are identified with the village deities. That does not 
mean that the daktis themselves had a human origin. Tho 
truth is that, the diviuo aspect of n dead parson becomes one 
with (he fiaktis ; henoe the identification. We cannot under- 
stand thin clearly, unless we forgot all the advanced ideas which 
wc associate with onr notions of the deity. It is not at nil 
necessary that a gad or goddess should be only good. Tho 
Dravidian deities arc not particular about tho ethical distinc- 
tion between good and evil. It is tho idea of power that is 
emphasized in them. They are the embodiments of power. 
They may be good or they may bo evil. Is is not of very 
great consequence. What veaUy matters is power. Our grAnia- 
dcoatas generally do evil to mankind. It is not due to their 
love of wickedness that they act in this fashion, but to the 
desire to exhibit their power. It is the only way in which 
men can understand and respect power. No amount of good 
cun convince men that the gods are poworful and strong. It 
is necessary that men should understand that the gods are 
powerful enough to harm them, and strong onongh to protect 
them. This view is further strengthened by the following con- 
sideration. Tho word Which signifies a devil in Telugu id 
' dayyatnu.' Tho nine word is employed to signify ‘god ' also. 
Tho primitive Xudhras, therefore, could not have distinguished 
tho god from tho devil. Wbnt they could understand and, 
appreciate was power. Tboivfore, they called every supernatural 
being ' dayyamu,' irrespective of all ethical considerations. 

Tho preceding discussion has shown that tho spirits of tbs 
departed have a strong affinity to thn village deities with 
whom they become identified. Wo have triad to explain the 
causo of that identification. Now, it ia oasy for us to under- 
stand how the temple which grow around the grave was trans- 
ferred to the village deities, ‘it is brought about by the 


association of the dead with the* village deities. The primitive 
peopio ave in tho habit ol grouping togotber a number of 
religious rites, on account of economic considerations. We are 
told that tho Todas “ bold tli# Manralnollfdr ol sevoral people 
at the same timo.”* This is duo to considerations of rinal 
cconoiuy. The Kurubas of the Ceded Districts bold u feast 
once a year in honour of all tho dead of the clau during 
tba year. In small village cotnuiuui.ios which am inquired to 
celebrate founts in honour of ancestral spiiito as well as the 
village doilies, tho tendency is to bring both feasts together 
in order to minimise expense. In boiuo of our moat important 
annual feasts, we find a combination ol two hinds of worship. 

The Dipi\va|I is celebrated with great enthusiasm in tho 
South. Tho New Year of tho QujaiAtis cud MflrwAris begin 
with tbut Aui4v4sy&. A; one time, DlpAvaJi must have been 
specially sacred to the ancient spirits. In the Tamil country 
aJl the non-Brahmans fast and worship the ancestors on that 
day. The preceding clay, the fourteenth day of the black 
fortnight, is called Naraka-chaturdosI or ’the fourteenth day of 
hell.’ Crackers are fired to scare away the evil spirits. The 
Dlpdvajl, therefore, seems to he an ‘ all-eouls’ day.’ The worship 
of ancestral spirits is closely associated with the worship of the 
deities of vegetation. The Kfidireivara-vrata is performed on 
the day succeeding the Dlpavnji. Kediresvnro, is the * lord of 
the fields,’ and his worship usually takes pluco in the midst ol 

The Pongal is mainly a feast celebrated in honour of tho 
goddess of vegetation, Gaurl. Her worship continues for one 
week in the mouth of Pushyn. The Talugu year used to terminate 
at one timo with the Pongal; for tho last day of the feast is 
■till called Eijadi-patuiuffa 'the now-year feast. 1 On this day, 
all the Xndlnus with the exception of the Brahmans fast and 
worship the ancestors. 

Now, tho worship of two sets of deities ut tho same timo 
lends naturally to a combination of the two cults. Their 
attributes and qualities become interchangeable. The temple 
which originally belonged to t,ho spirits of tho dead haB been 
thus transferred to the village deities. This fact is clearly shown 
by tho legendg and rites associated with the villago deities and 
tho presence of their temples in t/noMnat. 


“Among tho Snktis, Kati Ankouinm is one of considerable 
importance. She is t he ti>nkti of tho place where I lie dead ate 
buriod or burcd, and is feared accordingly." 6 

The worship of this deity loMs only for n short diirntioo, 
“for it is not pluimnt enough to bo extended any longer than 
in ncoosMiry. Tho MAdigo story-iolh-r goes to the burial-ground 

accompanied by the people in whoso iutoreit tho worship is 
conducted." ,0 Kali Ankuumns, tlmrstoro, dwells in the hd\lu or 
1 the cromntion ground.' 

Another feoktl, AnkRjiunma, lives within the precincts of the 
fmaMua. " At MnlayAnur, a ceremony culled , MayAoo.(SmnitAna)- 
koJlai* (looting the burning ground) is performed. The village of 
Malay Anur is famous for its AnkAlainiuan temple, and during 
the festival which takes place immediately after SivarAlri. some 
thousands of people congregate at the temple, which is near the 

burning ground. . . . " 11 

Another goddess who bears distinct marks of her residence in 
the Smafdna is Muftyalamma or * the pearl-like mother.’ Wo huvo 
a picture of this deity ou p. 225 of the South Indian Images oj 
Oods and Goddesses of H. Krishna Saslri. She is here seated 
crossing her left leg and extending the right below, so that her 
right foot may rest upon the chest of a dead body. She wears 
many ornaments, the most significant of which is the necklace 
of skulls. The corpse and the necklace point to her usual place 
of habitation. 

Literature bears ampin testimony to tho existence of temples 
of KAJiorDurga in ibofmiWriua. The KaihUsaritsaguru of Bourn- 
dew contains a description of a temple of DurgS at Benares. 
Tho temple was situated outside the town. Thorn was a Imaldna 
in its neighbourhood. People could ace the burning pyres fiom 
tho tomplo as Qijviudasvimi and bis nan Vijayadatta ha* 

Tho pool Bhuvabhftli also describes a temple of DurgA 
situated in a ImaMna in his MAlatUMWia\)a> Tho heroine 
M&latl is led to the temple of Cbftmun<Ji» to ho sacrificed. " The 
temple is situated iu the burning ground.” 1 r The hero, MAdhava, 
gocB there to secure human flesh which he requires in perform- 
ing some TAn-.ric rites; and finding his buloved bound and 
ready to be offered as a sacrifice, rescues ber. 

Tho Templo ol Durg* nt Maluballpurn 

From' Hnvcll’e I Lilian Architecture. 


We have another description of n KAji's temple iu a IwaAl'io, 
iu the Tamil poem Muitl-miklialai. Here in the dosoription ol 
llio burning ground : “ The burning ground which is adjacent 
to the grovn ia as old a* the city itself. It is surrounded liy a 
high wall, which hn« (our main gAtca in it. The gate which has 
the flag-staff is for the Mean, who leave Llio oars standing in 
mid-air looking like painted picturos, nod (inter through it. 
Then there is tho statuly entrance, the sides of which are adorn- 
ed with beautiful pictures of poddy-fields, sugar-canes, tanks 
and groves. Tho third goto hits bare white-washed walls, while 
in tho front of the fourth stands tho terrible image of n demon- 
via, fiercely frowning and biting her lips, and holding the 
fatal nooso and spear in Imr hands. Soldiers guard this en- 
closure. It is liuuutod by devils. Within tho walls ore teen 
many strange sighti , uud terrific sound.* am huurd here. There 
you can toe the grua> luuusle of li «|i, with the altar in the (rout 
yard surrounded by lofty trees which bend down with the weight 
of the heads of those who bavo sacrificed themselves to the 
goddess.” lt 

These instances confirm the view tlmt the village deities 
have borrowed their temples from the ghosts of the cemetery. 
A comparison of the hut-urns with the temples of grbrnadivalas 
Iead3 us to the same conclusion. The 4 hat- urns ' or urns shaped 
hire hut3 were used in ancient times for burying the a&bea of the 
(lead. A good number of them have been unearthed by avcluno- 
Ingiati. They resemble vory closely a class of touiplee dedicated 
to the village duitios. Bruce tfooto tolls as that ho saw ‘ a very 

small but typical Imt-urn in the fields a couple of miles 

or no to tho east of Salem. 1 It " was iu use as n shiino of some 
•wJmi, who would in consideration of a lamp burning to his 
or her hut-urn, take care of tho crops growing in front.” 14 

Now, the Salem hut-urn links the hut-shaped temples of 
villago deities with tho hut-urn properly so called, which Ukei 
ns onco again Into tho precincts of tho graveyard. A picturo 
of » perfect hut-urn dug out of tho soil of India in not available ; 
but wo arc able to get a representation of its European prototype 
There is little or no difference botwuen the two. The ludian 
hut-urns " show a rosomblnnco to tho same objects of Western 
classics! antiquity, such as were found under the volcanic lurfa 
near the Albun lakes to tho south of Rome.” * 1 



Again, wo arrive at the same conclusion, when wo compare 
another class of grllMcUwta shrines with the dolmons. One of 
tbo dolmons of iho Kambadur group III {b) admirably servoB our 
purpost. " The construction of tho shrlno chamber is similar to 
tho doluicn temples. . . Only here tho shrine chamber has 
been provided with a ball or mantapn in front conuocted with the 
shrino by a small passage; Iho entire structure being roofud with 
three roughly hewn flat slabs of granite." *• Tho resemblance 
between this and tho plan of the Bouth Indian tompln is generally 
admitted. Nowhere is this rosemblauoo more striking than in 
the case of tho temples of tho village deities. The ground plan 
and the superstructure arc the same in both the cases. Tho 
temple of tho village deity is generally oblong in form. From 
outside, it appears as a singlu hall, having no doorway and 
generally uo windowa Tho roof is a flat terrace, and is not 
adorned by images. When wo enter the temple, however, we 
find that what appears from outside, as a single hall, is really 
divided into two chambers, one in front, and another behind it. 
These two chambers correspond with the mantapam and the 
shrine of the Kambadur dolmon temple. This type of the temple 
of the village deity, therefore, most have had its origin in the 
primitive dolmen. 

The transference of rites and corcmomes belonging to the 
dead to the village deities is nowhere aeon more clearly than in 
tho history of tbo Car. It originally formed part of funeral rites. 
Tbo custom of building funorat cars survives still among a 
number of South Indian communities. It appears to be quito 
popular with the Billuvus and the Bants of tho Wost Coast. 
Among tho Billavaa, tho final death ceremonies (or bojja) are per- 
formed on tho thirteenth day. “ Ou the evening of tbo previous 
day, at tho place whore the dead person breathed his last, a 
small bamboo car, in three tiers, is constructed, and decorated ' 
with coloured cloths. This car is callod ' Nirnorala.' A lamp is 
suspended from tho car, and a oot placed on tho ground beneath 
it, and the jewels and clothes of tbo dead porsou are laid 
tberuou." Tho next day "the various articles are oollecled, 
and tied up in a bundle, which is placed in a paluaquin, and 
carried in a procession by two to the upparige, which has been 
constructed OTer the dhiipi." The car is also taken, evidently, 
to the cremation ground. " Those present go thrice round the 


upparige, and the chief mourner unties the bundle, and places its 
content* on the car.” " All the present theu leave the spot, nnd 
the barber removes the cloths from tho ear, and pulls it down. 
Sometimes, if the dead person has been an important member of 
tho ootutmi nily, a small car le constructed, and taken in proooa- 
sion round tho upparigo ," 17 

Here, tho oar ie m.ido to servo its original purpose. It is 
constructed in connection with thu funeral rites of an individual ; 
and it is pulled down whon they aro over. Tho saino practice is 
observed by the Badagas of the Nilpiri Hills. “The funeral car 
is built up in fivo to oloven tiers, decorated with clothes and 
streamers, nnd ono tier must bo covered with black chintz." “ Tho 
corpse is carried to tho car, nnd placod in the lowest storey 
thereof (on a oot), washed, drossed in coat and t urban.'* " When 
all arc assembled, the cot is carried to an open space between 
the house and the burning ground, followed by the car.” “ The 
car ib then stripped of its trappings and hacked to pieces." Here 
also the car appears to be a mere appendage of a funeral. It is 
built for the fnneral of a single individual, nnd is destroyed 
immediately after it has served its purpose. The Badagas, how- 
ever, put it also toa different use, in connection with the celebra- 
tion of the memorial ceremony for ancestors called ‘ manavalai.’ 
The festival “ takes place at long intervals. " “ An enormous 
cor, called elu-kwii-tc/n (seven-storeyed car) was built of wood 
and bamboo and decorated with silk and woollen fabrics, flags 
and umbrellas. Insido the ground floor woro a cot with a mat. 
tress and pillow, and the stem of a plantain tree. The souls of 
the ancestors were supposed to be reclining on tha cot, rosting 
their heads on tho pillow, and chewing (ho plantains, while tho 
umbrellas protect them from tho sun nnd rain. The ear orna- 
ments of all thoso who bavo died Binco the previous corcmony 
should be placed upon tho cot." Aftor much danoing and merry- 
making which conliuuod for days, “ the oot was ovonlually burnt 
at thn burning-ground, as if it contained a corpso." " 

Tho car is not built hare, as in tho two provious cases for 
ubo in actual funerals. It is constructed on the occasion of 
a tnomorial ceremony for ancestors. It has hero assumed a 
religions significance. 

We see the car again associated with the village deities. In 
Orissa, a car is constructed “for the annual festival of tho village 


deity, al which, in most places, the car is burnt at the conclusion 
of the festival.” 1 • 

Hera the car has no connection wilh the dead or tho 
funerals. But it appears to be connected with the Badaga car 
built for wa naoalai. If. is built like tho UadugA car to bo used 
in u recurring festival, aud it is burnt down as soon oe it is over. 

Tbo throo instances that have been cited above show bow 
tho chi- which is originally a mere appendage of fnnorala at first 
transforms itself into an institution connoctod with ancestral 
worship, and finally enters into tho ritos connoctcd with thu 
oolcbralion of tho annual festival of village deities. 

When new gods invaded South India from the North they 
ontored these temples, making alliances in most cases with their 
original occupants. Tho Boutb Indian temple which started 
its career as a rude circle of Gfoncs around a grave, ended by 
becoming the abode of the mighty gods of the conquering Aryan 


' Dr. Elmore ... The Pravldlnn Clods in Hindu Religion. 

* ,, ... Ibid. 

1 „ ... Ibid. 

* .. ... Ibid. 

8 ... Ibid. 

8 ,, ... Ibid. 

* PrabWlar* filatrulu Ch*In Verses. p. 135. 

* River* ... The Tods*, p. 373. 

* Dr Elmore ... The Dravldian Ocd», etc. 

,e Thurrwo ... Cartes and Tribe*. Vol. VI, p. 860. 

” reorer ... Tawoey'. translation ol Kotha-urit-ee^ra.Vol. II 

pp. 100 -7. 

“ . ... Ibid., p. 314. 

” A. MadhavUh ... Mavlm#khalnl. pp. Si-87. 

u Hruco Foot ... Indian rre-biifculc nud Proto biitoric Antiquities, 
p. DA 

u ... IWd. 

" Looghuret ... Roporl ol Arch. Sou than Circle. 10lG 10. 

" Thuriton ... Caste* anil Tribw, Vol. I. p. 350. 

" » ... Ibid., pp.118- 138. 

" m ... Ibid., p. 118. 



Wo have confined oar attention, so fur, to n consideration 
of the ground plan and tbo basal structure of the South Indian 
tnmple. Wo have purposely ignored nn important fen torn of the 
toaiplo architecture. It i« the imposing vlmdua that is built on 
the temple, just above tho sanotatn. Whence has it come? Wo 
have not been able to detect even a tracu of it in tbo primitive 
Dravidinn temple. Its origin is, therefore, shrouded in dark- 
ness. Some people ate inclined to see in it a foreign dement ; 
some trace its origin to the Egyptian Pyramids ; others find in 
it an adaptation of Chaldean Ziggarets. The most important of 
•ho theories explaining the origin 0 f the vivulna comes from 
Mr. Longhnwt. Jlis theory is as follows 

The stupi, as the vhrAna is called, is the corrupted form of 
Sanskrit sttipa which signifies ‘n Buddhistic shrine.' It was 
originally “ a dome-shaped structure which was a development 
ol the low sepulchral tumulus, or mound of earth and stones, in 
which the bricks were substituted for earth, with a view to 
durability.” 1 Tho Buddhists did not, however, bring tho sMpa 
into existence. It existed long before tbo time of the Buddha. 
It waa a pre- Buddhistic institution, held in great reverence 
by the people. It was "a common form of tomb at that 
period " and “ nothing more or leas than a regularly built dome- 
shaped pile of masonry, which was undoubtedly tho oldest 
form of funeral monument*." 8 To socuro the loyalty of the 
masses, the Buddha is said to have adopted it for tho purpose 
of bin new religion. And after tho death of the master, it 
was further dovolopcd and universalized by his followers, nud 
it became ‘ the* religious edifice of the Buddhists. » A striking 
change in tho mediaeval stlipa is the introduction of figure- 
sculpture. Only ordinary mortals aro sculptured in tho earlier 
stupas, while Buddha never appears. Now be is even the 
object ol worship, his imaRo being placed in a niche in front 
of tho stupa itself." * , It was this developed Buddhistic s tUpa 
Which the Hindus adopted an their temple when Buddhism 


bapan to docny. The Hindus bad no temples before this period. 
The earliest representations of the Hindu doilies are found 
on Buddhist temples. "The oldest remains of independent 
Hindu urt oiihor sculptural or architectural only date from 
■evurnl cauturii* after llm beginning of our (the Christian) 
era. These considerations In thtnisolve* justify the presumption 
that Hindu architecture is derived from Mio older art of the 
Buddhists." 4 

80 for, everything appears to run smooth ; but there emer- 
ges a difficulty when this theory has to be adapted to the South 
Indian templo, on aocouut of its independent origin. Wo havn 
already seen that tho South Indian temple is a development 
of tho primitive grave ; and how can the theory of Buddhistic 
origin square with it? There is, however, n eplondid way out 
of tho difficulty. We are not able to trace the origin of tho 
vivi'ina surmounting the temple from indigenous sources. It 
has a striking resemblance to tho developed stupa, and is also 
called by the name ‘stfipi.’ Therefore, it is "nothing more 
or less than a conventionalized model of a mediaeval Bnddhist 
stupa, erected purely as an architectural ornament, denoting 
tho position of the image enshrined within the building." 4 
Thus the one foature of the Dravidian temple which defied 
explanation from native sonrees appears to have been suffi- 
ciently accounted for, and the difficult problem concerning its 
origin seems to have been finally solved. 


* Annnil Report of tho Arolttoloflcal Department, Southern Circle, lfllB-10, 

p. 80 . 

« Ibid., p. JO. 

* Ibid., p. 81. 

* Ibid., p. 31. 

■ Ibid., p. 81. 



The theory, which hen been slated in the hut chapter, ia 
evidently ingonious ; and at llrat sight, tlicra docs not Mom lo 
be nny cogent mason for us to disagree with it. It is a favourite 
dogma with a class of writers lo deny the existence of sculpture 
and architecture in India before the advent of Dnddhiim. 
According to thorn the Mauryaa wore tlio first to introduce stono 
architecture in India. Judging, howover, from tho low models 
of sculpture and architecture of the period thut still oxist, wo 
have reason to concludo that tho Mauryan stone masons were 
masters in their art. and not copyists of wooden models in stone. 
It would have required, at least several hundreds of years before 
the Indian sculpture and architecture could havo reached that 
stago of development which it did during the time of the 
Mauryaa. This is, however, a very wide question and it is not 
possible to discuss it here at length. 

Apart from the discussion of the origins of Hindu archi- 
tecture, it is easy to establish the priority of the Hindu temple 
to the Buddhist atupa from literature both Buddhistic and 

The Buddhist divine NAgasfina who lived in the first century 
before Christ boars testimony to the existence of Hindu temples 
in bis time. In his ilHinda-PafUta, he enumerates oight plac*B 
which a contemplative Buddhist should avoid : 

" Uneven around, unsafe, and windy epote 
And hiding place*, and goi-toiwrf/vf tMnts, 

High roads and bridgos, and all balking ghaU- 
Theou eight places avoid, when lulling of liigli things," > 

The ' god-lioantod shrines' must necessarily refer to tho 
Hindu temples; for it is difficult to imagine how a pious 
Buddhist divine like NAgatfna could have described the Bud- 
dhist shrines 09 ' god-haunted.' 

Again, the Buddhist sutlas vory often refer to ‘shrines,’ 
which appear to be a common feature of tho religions of tho 


Gongetio valloy. Most of thou, howovcr, are chnilyns which 
are pre-Buddhiatio in origin. Wo shall have co discuss this topic 
separately iu a different context. For the present, it in enough 
to nolo that the Dialmajula-Sutta onmuorntes the worship of u 
number of deities whom the Buddha condemns. It rotors o*pe- 
cially to the worship of ‘ The Firo,’ ‘The Sun ' aud ' The Great 
One.* The goddess of Look, Hiri, appears to liavo received hor own 
nlmio of popular devotion ; bat the mittai do not tell us whothur 
those deities woro worshipped in temple*. Tho Ainburfa-Sulla, 
howovor, tells ns dofinituly that, at least, one of them, Agni, was 
worshipped in a tom pi o. 

" And now AmlnHa," »i»yt tho Bu«klba, "in c\to any nxlusc or Drahmui, 
without larins tlioiontjlily Btfcdied unto Uii* *upromo poifcction, in 
wnUom and coodiKt, and without baviny iUa'iMHt to living only on 
fruits luJItm of iberaaclvoa, and without having aOUiuod to living only on 
bull)* and roots and fruits, kWJ 6«<M Hmw// a /be-M/rfr* near the 
boundaries of some village, or snnn town, and ll«ro dwell oerving the 
tlio-god, Lhaa verily lig turns out worthy only to be a servant unto bim 
tint lulh attained to wisdom and righteousness." 4 

It in probable that the other deities whose worship wu3 
condemned by the Buddha should have received similar attention 
from their devotees. This view is strongly supported by tho 
evidence of the so-called Brahmauic literature. The Manu-Smriti 
and the Epics contain many references to temples. But they 
aro uot generally takon into account. The R&mtlyana describe-! 
temples built in a highly ornate style ; but we cannot take thorn 
into consideration, because the Rdmtlya^a is said to bo a compa- 
ratively recent work. According to Hopkins the earliest BhAratn 
makes montion of dtoatd'jatauas ortho tomplce; but he destroys 
the usefulness of his remark for our purpose by ob&urviug that 
they were insignificant from an architectural point of view.’ Wo 
aro, Ihorofore, obliged bo draw our information from other 
sources. Wo begin, then, with Mogasthoues whoso veracity 
appears to be unimpeachable. 

" *“ »Wr collecUvo capacity," tnyi ho in hi* rmhka, " Ihoy have chargo both 
of lh»lr Special department* And also of matter* Affecting Rcnernl In 
t«rMl, a* tho Soaping of public building* in proper repair, the ragnUtloa 
of pricce, the arc of merkot*. harbour*, end femjXrt.'’ * 

This passage is tho 4 sheot-anchot ' of tho chronology of our 
temples. They wore w many about 820 B.C., that they demanded 
the attontion of the imperial government of the Msuryaa. 
The Greek ambassador’s reference to temples ia borne out by 


the evidence of Indian writers.- The ArlhaMslra of Kautilya, Ihe 
Chancellor of Chandrafiuptu Mmiryn, ulthough a book on politic*, 
throws a Hood ol light on the social and religions conditions of 
Northern India of the 4th century B.C. It mentions chaityas and 
temples which appear to have been vory common all over tbo 
oountry. The ofiaityn had not yot become exclusively Buddhistic. 
It was still n popular institution common to tho men of all 
sects. Demons and evil spirits were tho doilies presidio# ovor it. 
They would got angry, and cause national calamities, unless 
they were satisfied by tho sacrifice ol animals suoh as hc-gaats. 

Tcmplos tvero numerous, and thoy were dodicatod to Rods 
of all Beets. Tho Vodic gods like Varui.ia and tho Asvins, the 
PurAuic deities liko Siva and KmnAro, the Jaina deities like 
AparAjita, and the popular deities liko Vaisravana and Madira 
had all their temples. Tlio cowherds living in their ranches, 
worshipped their own god Samkarsbaija. Besides the NAga deities 
claimed their own share of popular devotion. Tn the cities as 
well as iu the country, on the public roads aud at the sacred 
ti'thai, temples were built, and gods and goddesses were wor- 
shipped. Kautilya agrees with Mega3thcnes in telling us that 
the tomples wore under tho control of the government. A special 
deparlmen’ to govern the religious institutions, was in cxistonco. 
Tho bend of this depnrimont was called tho Superintendent of 
Bohgions Institutions. <Bk. V. *2.). Kautilya gives us a mass of 
information regarding the temples. Although the ArthnhUtra 
does not describe anywhere a leuiplo, it throws out boro and 
there valuable hints which tell us that tbc temple was a struc- 
tural building. Wo have in Bk. II. ii n description of tho temple 
ol 1 Kumftvl, the goddess of war. Its external aroa was " onc-and- 
a-half times" that of its innormo9t room, "a circular building 
with an arch-way." Bk. XI. 1. mentions tho gates of temples 
(ohaiti/adaivata dvAra rahhasthdm); and Bk- XII. 5 gives us 
morn partioulurs : 

" A wall 01 otone, kept by mojlionioil ccntrlvanco, may by loononlng tho 
faitalagi, bo let to fall on tlie bead ol Do enemy, when bo boa eutorod 

• Tho Ghoiundi Mono Inscription (Bp. /ttd. XVI, p. 36) show* that tomplco 
of Hindu gels exioOxl In Northorn India In the limo of tho Sungas. Mr. K. V. 
Jayoowal, tbo loomed editor of the Inscription zvji,— w It is tho earliest monu- 
mental proof of the fact that temple* were CTectod to Viaudflva and to his 
brotlxr, and that tbo fol lowers of the cult included even Urthmlna " Tbo ago 
of Do inscription can bo aligned between circa SCO B.C., and 1B0 B.C." 


Into a temple ; sloont and weapons may be showered over hie head from 
tbe topmost storey *Uam&jara; or a door ptnal may be let lo (all ; or a 
hojo rod kept over a will or partly aUachol to a wall may be made to 
fall over bln.*' 

Wo understand front the above that tho temple wm it struc. 
turnl building with gateways and door* ; it contained an inner 
room (tho sanctum), and an outer room aatroanding it. What 
is more important, it was a building consisting of several storeys. 
One is tempted to think that Kautilya refers to a temple-OMndtia 
in tho ahovo passage (XII. 5). Thorn is nothing improbable in 
such nn idea. According to UdnatAra, a temple “ wwutna consists 
of from ono to twelvo storeys." " Bevernl tomplcs containing 
three or four storeys exist oven at the preeont day. Moreover, 
tho viimnat wore quite familiar to tho people of India during 
the time of the Maaryas. The Aftfikan inscriptions mention 
them, not in connection with tho temples, but in connection with 
the aerial cars (wwidnas) of the gods. The Girnar Rock Edict has 

(Vim&na-darsa^d dia hasti-datsa&i efia agikhavi- 
dhdni cha divy&ni tiip&ni da&ayilpi janatn). 

Now, tho teinple-Wmdms is very oloscly akin to the vim&naa 
of tho gods. Tho Udmdtjana, Bk. I) ooaipares the upper parts 
of the palaces in AyOdhya to tho uimdnas of tho Siddbas, a 
species of gods. 

VimXnam iva siddhumth tdpasddhigataih divi 

Sunivtsila vi itn&nt&m, cU. 7 

(The upper parts of the palaces were like tho vivultiaa of the 
Siddhas which were brought down by the power of tapas to 
the earth.) 

In another place, tho city is described as, 

Sarwa-rafna-iflwdWrwiiifi wndwgriux-lobldtdm.' 

Tho houses in AyfldhyA hud vividiiat, and there is nothing 
extraordinary about this; for the Udnasdra tells us ‘'that the 
vimAna which is a special feature of tho temple construction 
Is permissible in palaces, where it can be raised either over 
the main entrance*way to the palace or over tho Durbar 
hall, or even ovor the pfjugnha of the king, specially built 


for Iho worship of his fudadtoatu or tho (laity of Ihc royal 
household." ® There is mention of the ot/ini na also with refer- 
ence to the buildings of Brahmanas and Vaityas.* 

We are justified in concluding, on Llm authority of tho 
A'awflj/ana that tho vim'nuuol tho temples and tho viuidnin of 
tho gods aru similar in form. Tho virndnas or tho AAOkan inscrip- 
tion must havo rosemhlod tho wtnduai of more substantial 
buildings. Thoreforc, tho suggestion that Kau$ilya aooms to rofor 
to a temple with a vinAim in Bk. XXII. 5 is not altogether 

The inmost shrino of tho tomplo contained the idol made of 
Htone reprosonting the deity. Images of Voruna, NAgas. Yakshus, 
and goddesses wero rognlarly worshipped. Articles of worship 
were brought into the city from outside (IT. 21); "Dowers and 
fruits "were used in the worship (IT. 21); " auspicious hymns" 
were chanted during tho service (II. 3); gifts were given on such 
occasions (II. 3); Devadftsis attended "the temple on service" 
(IT. 23); on festival occasions, the gods w.-re taken out in pro- 
cessions (XII. S), which perhaps followed fixed routes in cities. 
II. 3 mentions tho dioapalham, ‘ the road for the gods.’ The 
temples appear to have had cars attached to thorn. II. 33 describes 
various types of chariots which the Superintendent of chariots 
should get constructed. Ono of them is the dioaralha, ‘ the 
chariot of gods.’ Bulls were ’ let out * in hononr of gods, and any 
one found riding on them was punished (III. 13). Sufficient 
provision was also made for tho rehabilitation of ruined temples. 
They liko the other religious buildings wero repaired, in the 
absence of claimants, either by tho villagers nr charitable people 
(III, 10). The temple of the 4th century B.O. appears to have beeu 
moro or loss the samo kind of building nn the later Hindu tomplo. 
But it was not. invented by tho Indiana of that uge. There is 
somo evidence to show that tho temple was known much earlier 
than the 4th century B. 0. PAuini, the unciont fiAnskjit gram- 
marian, who is said to have lived in tbo time of tho Kantian 
refers in V. 8, DO and 97, of bis to two classco of 

images These and tho commentaries thereon formed the 
subject of a learned discussion by 8lcn Konow in the Indian 

• The WsrttsaB of the royal palaces at Vijayanagsr. Penukopil* anil Chandra- 
giri may he taken as illu orations oi the WWmnri of tbs J/anaaora. 


Antiquary, Vol. XXXVIII. Ho esUblishea (he fact that tho 
images of the Hindu Rods such as VtoadAva, Siva, Skanda, ok. 
wero worshipped at the limn of PApini and PotaAjali. It is not 
very unreasonable Uj suppose that temples also existed with the 
images of Rods thas wore tho objeots.of popular worship, Bnch 
A view gain* strength from Mm nvideuoo chat is drawn from 
other source*, The Gautama Dharma ililtra is said In ho " the 
oldest of tho existing works on the snored law.'" 0 It ii older 
Hum Baud h Ay ana and Apastamba, oud may very well have been 
anterior to PApini. This book mentions ' images of gods ' and 

The referonco to images of gods occurs in IX,— 

19. ''Facing or vllhln right of wind, firo. Brahimone, the sun, 'valor, (fAc 
imagt of thf) pods, and cow*, he shall noS eject urine, or fiece*. 
or othor imparities.'’ 

13. "He shall not stretch out his foot toward* Ihooc divine beings." 
(S.n.B, Vol. II, p. 3t0). 

The reference to temples occurs in IX. — 

8fi " He stell pus ncdleat (being* awl tilings), anspldous (bolus*). ituiJu 
of gods, cross roads and the like with ilia right tend toward* them. 
" Ibid, p. 830 

V. 14. mentions 1 Parithhandm ’ (translated as temple of 
gods) as one of the plaous which destroys sius ; but we are not 
quite certain abont the meaning of Parishkandha. 

Temples were known to Gautama, and ho enjoins that 
a Brahman who had received tho ' forty ’ important sacraments 
should rovorenco thorn. Gautama is cortainly a more ancient 
authority than Kantilya, and his hook perhaps takes us to the 
days of tho Buddha himself. 

It has boon made clear by tho foregoing references that the 
Hindu tomplo existed us early as tho time of tho Buddha, 
Perhaps, it was origiually a Dravidian institution, which tho 
Aryau conquerors had, in course of agos, incorporated into their 
faith ; for rocont excavations in tho Punjab and 8iud show that 
the templo was a familiar institution in the 3rd millennium before 
Christ, "The temples," says Sir John Marshall, “stand on 
elevated ground, and am distinguished by tho relative smallness 
of their chambers, and ihu exceptional Ihicltness of 'heir walls— 



a feature which suggests that they wore several storeys in 
height." “ 


‘ Sacred Book* o! the Rut, Vo). XXXV. 

• DialctfoM ol tho Bnddha, Vol, 1. 

• Hopkins : Epic XIytoolc*y. 

I Mac£i Indie: Mataalhenea' Indika Pr. XXXIV. 

■ Ram Rax., p. 48. 

" Tlio Corp.ii lnscrlpllonnm lodlcamm, Vol. I (roviiel eJlilon) pp. 7-8. 

» Rflm*yava. Bk. I. 

• Ibid. 

0 AoBiill»*\**ar : The Indian Architecture. Vol. I, p. 240. 

•• Oeo. Buhlcr : Introduction io Uaulanu DharinatOitra, Vol. II. 

II Sir John Mar.lall : " Tho Times,” Feb. 1020, 



i. The Stupa 

II linn boon pointed out in the last chapter that the Hindu 
tomplo oxistod at tho time, when the Buddha was proaobing 
hi* cow roligion to the people of tho Gaugolio valley. If it 
is admitted that tho Hindu toraplo' existed as early os tho Oth 
century bofore Christ, tho theory which trsoes its origin to the 
Buddhist sti)pa cannot ho maintained. Still, we have to ac- 
count for the extraordinary tespniblance between tho developed 
Buddhist stupa and the Hindu temple. We can give a very 
satisfactory explanation of this ro.Bomhlanco by assuming that, 
the Hindu temple served as a model lor the Buddhists to build 
n shrine to their own deity, when they felt the ojed of a temple. 
The Hindus did not borrow their temples, as it is generally 
supposed, from the Buddhists; bat, in fact, they taught the 
Buddhists the art of stupa- building. The Buddhists were the 
real borrowers in this as in many other cases. 

The Buddha in organizing his new religion borrowed freely 
from the social and political institutions of his time. We shall 
consider some of them hero. Since tho time of the Buddha 
tho torms Sramana and bituku were applied to tho Buddhist 
monks. They are generally supposed to he words specially 
associated with Buddhism ; but on a closer examination of ancient 
foinskfit literature, it is found that they were known even 
before tho birth of tho Buddha and used to denote ascetics 
who had abandoned the world and adopted a wandering life. Tho 
' ftramnnaa' did not belong to any one community in particular. 
All who did not rooognixo tho Brih manic roligion. and adopting 
a wandering lifo, devoted their time to the pursuits of truth 
were called by that name. They wove not popular among the 
orthodox ; hence they were occasionally penneutod. 

At the time of tho Buddha, they wore considered equal 
to tho BrUnuanas ; hence the oft-repented phrase ' BrAhmanus 
and Sraraanns.' Tho Buddha himself was generally known as 


'firamapa GOlanin.’ This indicates the existence of &ramanas 
other than Gdtaina. lie was called a Crania pa because he 
possessed many or the characteristics of & ttramapa. The Biafona- 
jula-Sulta mentions a largo number of firuuiauas with whom 
elm Buddha disagreed. The term 'dromaMa’ was in common 
uio before tho timo of tho Buddha. After the death of its 
founder, Buddhism bocatuo so very popular that it absorbed all 
the ftrntuanas. Consequently the term tiraiuann caiuo to mcau, 
in course of time, ' a monk who accepted tho teachings of the 

Tho word ' bhikku ' which the Buddha U308 invariably in 
addrossiog his followers, is also used by Gnnlaina in his Dharma- 
S&traa to denote a mau in tho third dlrama. In tho later 
law-books, * parivrnjaka ’ and * vunaprastha ’ take its place. We 
understand from this that at the timo of Gautama and of 
some early law-givers, there were Brahman and porhaps other 
con-Brahmau bhikshus, and that the Buddha was only using 
a current word in addressing his disciples. 

It is not only the terms like ‘ Sramana ' and 1 Bhikku ’ which 
the Baddha borrowed from the BruhinaDs, but he appears to have 
incorporated the code of discipline of Brahman monks into his 
system. His Vinaya appears to have been based upon nn earlier 
Vinaya. Tho word ‘vinaya’ Itself was drawn from Hindu sources ; 
for we Gud Kautilya designating the first book of his Arthaiastra 
as VinayUdhikdrikam, ‘ Concerning Discipline.’ Tho dress and 
the regulations regarding diet and habitation appear to have 
boon modellod upon corresponding rules, o.g., rules of the 
Dkarma-IAstras in tho Brohmanio system.' Buhlur in his 
translation of the Gautama Dharma-idstra expresses tbo opinion 
that tho " * Vo8so ’ of tbo Bauddhas and J uinus is also derived from 
a Brahmanicol source.” 9 Moreover, it has been reoently shown 
by Mr. K. P. Jayaswol that both the Buddha r.nd Mah/lvlra 
organised their respective ohurohos on the basis of some of 
the republican constitutions of their time.' 

The worship of troou and serpents, Yakubas and other 
demons was, us already pointed out, a feututo ol the ptc- 
Buddhistic Hindu religion. It was also adopted by the Buddhists 
so thoroughly that it came to be looked upon as a specially 
Buddhistic institution. These may, however, be set aside as 


instances ot unimportant indebtedness ; but the same thing 
cannot be said of the two examples of borrowing which are 
described below. 

Ouo of thorn is tho ‘Stiijxt.' It is generolly admitted that tho 
stilpa was a pre-Buddblstic institution which was introduced into 
the now fnilh by tho master himself. So lunch is implied by a 
passage of the ilah/iparimbb^na-Sutla* Its testimony is corro- 
borated by the discovery of some shlpat belonging to certain 
ooinmunllios othor than tho Buddhistic. A few years ago, a Jaina 
stupa was discovorod at Mathura. 4 More recontlj still, anothor 
belonging to the Brahmins was brought to light at Lsuriya- 
Kondanghar by Dr. Bloch of the Arohmologicol Department. Tho 
clay mounds with the wooden pillars ■ having a deposit ot buncs 
on their tops claim their relationship with tho spherical st-i/vz 
with its ' tee ’ and casket of relics. 

The fuueral customs of some South Indian communities 
which Mr. Thurston describes in his Castes and Tribes throw 
some fresh light on tho origin of the stupa, Tho stupa is still 
associated with the burial or cremation coremonies of these 
people ; and it presents certain interesting features which dispel 
some misconceptions which are current about its origin. Tho 
modern South Indian stupa is associated with a tree on tho one 
hand, and a funeral car which resembles the Buddhist ‘tee’ 
with its tiers of umbrellas on tho other. Tho following extraots 
from Thurston give us an idoa of tho funeral customs referred to. 

The Bi)lava9 of South Canara usually burn tlioir dead, 

‘ though iu somo eases, burial is resorted to.’ Tho ashes when 
oollected arc * buried on tho spot.’ « If the body bas been 
buried, a straw figure is made, and burnt over the grave, and the 
ashes in buried thcro, A email oooical mound called dhhpfi 
is tuado, and a tulaai plant is stuck in it . . . On tho thirteenth 
day, tho final doath ceremonies or bojja are porformod. On the 
ovoning of tho previous day, four poles for tho construction 
of the Upparigo or gadikulln (car) aro planted round tho dhflp6. 
At tho bouse, on or near the pluco where the deceased breathed 
his last, a small bamboo car in three tiers is constructed and 
decorated with colotirod cloths. This car is called Nirnoralu. 
A lamp is suspended from the car, and a cot is placed on tho 
ground beneath it, aua the jewels aud clothes of the dead person are 


laid thoreon. On t ho following morning, tho Upparigo in con- 
structed with tho assistance ol' tho caste burbot 

Tin various articles arc collected inn bundle, which in placed in 
n palanquin, and carried in procession by. two men to tho Upparigo 

which has been oouitructed over tho dbflpd Those pro- 

sdiit go thrico round tho Upparige, and the ahiof uiournor uulics 
tho bundle and places its contents on tho car ... . All proiiont 
then leave the spot, and tho barber removes tho cloths from the 
car, and pulls it down, Sometimes, if the dead person happens 
to be au importaut member of the community a small car is con- 
structed, and taken in proco3sion round the Upparigo . 0 

Tho lirst point that wo have to notice in this passage is tho 
' small conical lnouud called dhhpl.* Now, it is obvious that 
tho word * dbftpd ’ is the corrupted form of Slit. ‘ stApn,’ the 
woll-known ancient. Hindu institution. Tho uext point of in- 
terest is the tulasi plant which is stuck in the dhftpd. This again 
brings to our mind the ancient custom of planting trees over the 
graves. In this connection we may also note a custom prevalent 
among the Bottadas, a class of Uriya cultivators and labourers, 
who plant a banyan or pipal tree on the place where the corpse 
is cremated. 7 Moreover, tho close association of the tree with the 
stupas gives ua an insight into the probable origin of umbrellas 
over the Buddhist stupas. Lastly, the custom of constructing 
the upparige or gu4ika{lu must also be noted. The meanings of 
these words are very suggestive. Upparige means * a building with 
an nppor storey giojikatlu is a compound word consisting of two 
words yndi meaning 'a temple' and rtaffu moaning 'to build'; 
thus the whole word moans 'temple-building.' We understand from 
this that tho building constructed over the dhUpi contains at least 
two storeys and it is regarded as a tcmplo. This, perhaps, throws 
a hint about the origin of the temple ; bnt it is regrettable that the 
description of the ' Upparigo ' is not givon ; probably it resembles 
tho 'nlrnoralu' vrbloh is said to bo built in throe tiers. It is, per- 
baps, the same kind of itraotnre built on suob occasions by the 
Bants, 8amo days after tho cremation of a Bant, " a barber, a 
washerman, and a carpenter build upon the spot where the corpse 
wa9 burnt a lofty structure made of bamboo and sroca paim in 
an odd number of tiers Rupportod by an odd number of posts. 
It is decorated with cloths, fruits, tender oocounuts, sugarcane, 
flowers, mango leaves, aroca-palm flowers, &c-, and a fence is set 

1555— r 


up around it.’’ a The Maaadika Hants follow the same custom. 
** The lofty structure called Gurlgo or Uppnrigo is bci up ovor the 
dhftpd or the aBhes heaped up into a mound, or iD the field in 
which thobody in cremated, ouly iu tho event of deceased boing 
a person of importance. In some placoa two kinds of structures 
are used, ouu culled Gurigo composed of several tiers for mules, 
and tho othor called dcla, consisting of a single tier for 

This passage makes it clear that tho upparijt is composed 
of several liora, and it is built ovor tho dhnpi. Movoover, a fence 
is also said to be set up around it. Hero we seem to stumble 
against tho prototype of tho Buddhistic U ii pa. Tho dhnpi cor- 
responds to the st&pa, the fence which is sot up around it to tho 
elaborately carved stone railings seen around early the Buddhist 
stiipas; and tho upparijt which is tho conventionalized form of 
tho original tree, to the 'tee ’ and tho umbrellas. The dhupe, the 
upparije, xnd the fence do not exhibit udv trace of Buddhism. 
They are distinctly non-Buddhistic in origin. This is clearly 
shown by their association with the funeral car, which is akin to 
the huge cars that arc atiachod to out temples. 

What is said above is enough to show that the stupa was, 
at one time, an institution common to all Indians. Although 
the Buddhists brought it to such prominence as to make it 
appear pre-eminently their own, it still lurks in obscure corners 
of Hinduism, where it has not yet lost its original chnraoter. 

R»/muefS i— 

* GMUma Dliarmn Sutriu Buhlar, S.B.E., Vol. II, pp. 103-4. 

» Th» Hind ii Polity K. I>. JayuwiL 

* Tin Dulosooi ol Ilia Duddlu, Vol. II. Rhyi David. 

* Do. Do. 

* Tho Arch. 8a r. lod. 1006-7 

* Th. Caiiai and Trlbw. Vol. I .. K Tluinlon. 

' Do. ... Do. 

A Chilly* 

From Havell's Itiia* ArthiUcturt. 



H. The Choltya 

Another Institution which has boon considered specially 
Buddhistic k tho ehaitya. Tho word 'ehaitya' is generally derivud 
from ckiti or ' funeral pyre ’ ; but it is uot cloar bow exactly it is 
connected with chiti. Tho epics appear to throw some light 
on the problem. Both Urn R&m&yana and the Stahdbhdmta 
mention e haityas in several places. The MahAbk&rafa gives as 
boiuo idea of what may be regarded as the earliest history of 
the ohaityn. Originally the ehaitya is not a building, religions 
or otherwise, but a tree. Thus in Bk. XII. 59, we have, " He 
should also cut down all the smaller trees cxcopting those trees 
called chaityat ; ” 'he should not touch (its) very leaves.” 1 The 
Vana-Parvan also refers to ‘ sacred trees.' 

According to Bk. XII. 09. 41. &o„ "gods, yakshas, rdksbo- 
sas, nflgas, pi«Achas, serpents, gandharvas, apsaraaas, and cruel 
bhatas dwoll in the chaityas.*’ Again, Bk. I1T. 125. 17, mentions 
" chaityas of the Three-and-thirty (gods).” The ehaitya , there- 
fore, in the St ahdbh&rata, is a tree in whioh spirits gcnxl or evil 
are supposed to live. What theu has this tree to do with ‘ chiti ’ 
or the funeral pyre from which the word ‘ehaitya ’ is derived V Tl 
is not possible to give a definite answer to this question. We enn 
establish the connection between the tree and the funeral pyre in 
a way. The duo is suggested by thr. MahAbhArata, XIII, 141. 18: 
The crematorium is said to bn Renorully shaded "by the branches 
of tho banyan (tree).” In Bk. IV, the cemetery oulmdo tho capital 
of King VirAta is called pitri»a»a or ' tho grove of the fathers.’ 
Therefore, the chief characteristic of tho cemetery in tho StaM. 
blulrata appoais to bn tho presence of big (roes. Their presnneo 
in the crematorium can 1m accounted for by assuming that people 
wore accustomed to plant thorn ou the grave*. Tho Rig-VMa 
(X. 58. 7 ; 10, 3)' expresses a belief among tho Aryans that “ tho 
spirits of tho dead enter plants and_ trees." It was, perhaps, 
duo to a belief of this kind that the Aryans plautod trees upon 

52 an nsuv ox tub onto in op t:ie south Indian temple 

tlio graves. The vostigos of this custom can be seen in the 
obionro allusions to "tho pillar" of It.V, X. 1R," and in i.ho 
Vaidica graves at Lauriya-Nandangar. Thin also explains w by 
the UahAbhArata, (XII, (i‘J. II), declares that tho chaityas “ are 
the resorts ol godn.yakshas, rlkaUm, etc." 

It is obvious from thin, that tho ' ohaifiya’ in tho Mali A- 
bh&rata is a treo. planted originally on tho gravo, and aftor tho 
introduction of orumatiou, upon the placo whoro tho body was 
cremated. Therefore, tho tree that was planted on tho chiti 
becamo the chaitya. It was considered worthy of worship, be- 
cause It was tho abode genorally of evil spirits. 

The Jidmvjana represents a lator stage in tho development 
of the chaitya. Here, it is no longer a tree, but a shrine or a 
temple. Tho RAmdyana refers to n chaitya in the crematorium : 

'imaidna chaitya pratimo bMskito 'pi bhayankarah,' 

Snndarakanga, ch. 22 : aU. 

U. 5. 15 describes the chaitya-prtsdda of RUvnnn. The 
chaitya- pratada is a royal palace built by Havana in his pleasure 
garden, AflOka.on the model probably da chaitya. “ It is described 
as having vidikas, terraces, coral stairs, a thousand pillars and a 
high roof.” 1 If wo ate right in assuming that the chaitya-prds&da 
waB modelled un the chaitya, a shrine seems to have grown up, in 
course of time, around the sacred tree, and to have claimed equal 
honour with the temple. 

Tho worship of the treo cortain'.y represents an earlier phase 
of religion than that of the shrine. This is a fact familiar to 
many Indians. Tree- worship wns unknown to the Vedic religion ; 
but it plays, evou at tho present day, n very important part in tho 
religious life of tho Diavidian South. It ia inferred trom this that 
treeworship has been vory oarly borrowod by the Aryans from the 
non-Aryan Dravidians of India. During tho cpio ago it became 
an important part of tho Hindu religion. Tim combined evidence 
of tho two epics shows that tho chaitya was originally a Hindu 
institution. Tho samo fnot is clearly indicated by tho Buddhist 
suitas also. Tho MaMparinibhAna Sutta alludos to them as a 
general feature of tho religious life of that time. Tho Buddha 
declares, on one occasion, while speaking of the people of VnU.Mi 
that “ so long as they honour and esteem and revere and support 
the Vajjian shrines (chetiyAni) in town or country, and allow not 


the proper offerlnge and niton, formerly givou nnd performed, to 
fall into desuetude ” 1 they shall prosper. 

On another occasion, ho enumerates nil tho chaityas at 

" When I wm one* itaylng, 0 Hnhimn, nt VCatll nt Sftmndtda Shrtn*. 
I taught tho Vajjlau* thouo oondllionu of wolfaro." * 

11 So tho Ooo proceed ed So OhApnl* Shrloo, and when be had oorno 
down on tho mat iproud out for him, and (bo vootrabU Aoaods took hli 
ooal roipoct(ally)boaido blm. Then tho ICxalM One addieaood Ananda i\»:l 
*ald,— ‘ flow delightful a *pot Ananda U Vfloilt on! how charming In lha 
UdOna bbrino, and Ibo Qotauiaka Sbrlno and tho ahrlno of She 8*v«o 
Mnngooo, and tho ebrino of tbo Many Sons, nod oho Sfirandada Shriuo, and 
Ibo Chapala Shrine." * 

According to tho Sumangalo VilAtini quoted in tho Dialogues, 
these were ‘ Yekkha-cfitiydni chaityas dedicated to the 

yakshas. They were, as Rhys Davids remarks, 41 shrines of 
pro-Buddhiatic worship .” 8 They did not become exclusively 
Buddhistic even in the fourth century before Christ. 

The Arthai&stra of Kautilya teemsrwith allusions to ehaityat. 
It appears that tho chaitya waa still a Hindu institution. Certain 
interesting details regarding the chaitya are given in ono place. 
" On full and new moon days, the worship of the chaityas may 
be performed by placing on a verandah, offerings such as an 
umbrella, the picture of an arm, a flog, and a he-goat .” 9 

This was done in order to propitiate tbo demons which wore 
supposed to cause national calamities. The first observation that 
we have to make in this connection is that the chaitya is a build- 
ing with a verandah ; next, that chchaga (ha-goat) aod hasta 
(hand) arc inoludod among tho offerings. Whatever may ho tho 
moaning of ' hasta,’ we nnod not hovo any doubt regarding that 
of ‘ cboh&ga.' It refurs to the sacrifice of a he-goat. This is really 
interesting. The he-goat, especially, tho black he-goat, is tho 
most valuable viotim that con bn offered to a village deity in 
South India. These consideration* justify us in concluding that 
the chaitya was originally a Hindu institution, beforo it wo* 
appropriated by the Buddhists. 

The foregoing discussion has shown that the Buddhists 
borrowed a good many things from tho Hindus, in giving 


a definite shape to their religion. The extent of thoir indebtedness 
is not limited to the borrowing ol a few technical terras and 
points of discipline; it extends to the incorporation of the stdpa 
and the chailya which a to tho control features of practical 

/fr/ffvnosr : - 

• MablbblraM ... PraiOfa Chandra Roys trantlMlon. 

• Rig-VBda OrtfflUi'i trnnsluUoa, VoL IV. 

■ Ibid Ibid. 

• W. Hopkln* ... Tho Eplo Mythology. 

• Rhys Davids ... Tho Dialogues ot tho lluddha, Vat. II, p. 80. 

• Ibid. ... ... Ibid. 

• Ibid. ... Ibid., p. 110. 

• Rhys Davids — DiatoguM, Vol II, footooto to p. 110. 

• Kautiltya ArlhsKflatra Sterna Saatrl's IrnMlatloo, p 050. 



Wo havo ahown that tho Hindu temple oxistod almost from 
the time o( tho Buddha, and that tho stilpa and tho cfiailffa, tho 
two institutions which tho Buddhist* regarded ns tho exclusive 
features of thoir roligion woro borrowed from tho IJindna. If 
tlion, in course of limo, one of them, the stupa, showed a tend- 
ency to become a tower, it is not unreasonable to suppose that 
it was duo to tho inflaenco which tho tomplo should have exor- 
cised upon it. In other words, tho Buddhist tomplo of the early 
Middlo Agos, as wo shall soon realise, was the result of tho influ- 
ence exercised upon the sfdpa by tho Hindu tomplo of an earlier 

The religion of the Buddha differed from Brahmanism 
in its denial of god. The Buddha allowed, it is true, room 
for tho earlier gods to remain in his religion ; but, in admit- 
ting them, he reduced them to the position of mortals, a 
kind of supermen. They were as much subject to birth, 
growth, and decay, and »9 much immersed in the ocean of 
samara as men themselves. They had to work out their sal- 
vation in the same way as men wore expected to do. They lost, 
therefore, much of thoir value and importance in the estimation 
of men. The ultimate goal which the Buddha taught his 
disciples to strive after was NirvAua. It, was the desire of ovary 
Buddhist to attain NirvAna, and thereby put an end to the 
unendiug series of births and deaths. Consequently, the Now 
Religion did notjrequire either tomplea or idols. We do not 
hear much of them in the Buddhist Suita*, oxoopt on raro 
occasions when they arc introduced into tho canon only to bn 
condemned by the Buddha. But from tho vory curly days 
of Buddhism, thore was ono institution which took tho place of 
the tomplo in the community of tho faithful. This was the sacred 
itdpa which might be said to have almost received the sanotion 
of tho master. As a fuuoral monumont of a saint or a groat 
man, it had already bocome tho object of popular worship. As 
tho Buddha had on one occasion exprossod a doslro that a stupa 


might l*a erected on his gravo, the disciples bulieved that ha hail 
sanctioned iu worship. When ho died, atdpaa were built over 
Li* remains, and became the objects of constant and regular 
worship This was enough to satisfy the disciples, and especially 
os most of them had known tho master, they did not feel the 
need of offering worship to any other visible representation. 

At tho tirno of tho death of tho Buddha, tho disciples were 
only a handful. They wero generally drawn from tho uppor class- 
es of society. Most of thorn wero vory well educated, and could 
appreciate the now doctrines. Their importance as a com- 
munity, bowevor, was not very groat. They wore, as Dr. V. A. 
Smith observes, a more ‘ local sect ' until tho timo of the emperor 
Asoka. Further, its ho adds, " The personal ministry of Gautama 
Buddha wus confined to a comparatively small area . . . bolwoun 
Gaya, AllalikbAd, and the Himalaya . . . Whan ha died about 
4S7 B.C., Buddhism was merely u sod of Hinduism, unknown 
beyond very restricted limits 

The new faith as originally preached, was satisfactory, 
as wo have already remarked, to the disciples within this limited 
area. But Buddhism unlike Brahmanism was a prosely- 
tizing religion, and the ambition of the early Buddhists 
was to make it the universal religion of India. The tenets 
which warn originally formed to satisfy the spiritual needs of 
a few, con ll nod to a limited area, wero required to satisfy tho 
needs of millions of men all over tho length and the broadth of 
a wholo continent. The religions of the new oonverts were 
not always the same iw those of tho old disciples. Therefore, 
when the propagators of the new religion v/ent abroad to preuuh, 
they were obliged to modify the doctrino to suit the now condi- 
tions, make room for some new soots, and admit certain alien 
institutions into thoir religion. Fortunately, much information 
regarding the religious conditions of tho times is available to us. 

In the days of Pftnini, tho worship of images appears to 
bavo already bocomo popular. According to the old nohuliu 
referred to by Kocow, tbo images mentioned by Pipini wero 
tboso of VilsudOva, Sivu, Skuuda, Vishpu, and Aditya,— members 
all of the Pur&nic Hindu pantheon. Patafijali, who is said 
to have boon a contemporary of Pnshyamitra, supplies us with 
some interesting information on this puiut. He tells us that 
tho images mentioned by P Ac ini wore used "for immediate 


worship"; further that “the Mauryas had images made from 
greed." • From tbe discnssions of grammarians, we under- 
stand that image- worship was very popular, und that the images, 
in all oases, were those ol tho Hindu gods. 

It is, however, to Kaufilya, a contemporary of Chandragupta 
Maury*, that wo aro very heavily indobted for giving us a 
vivid pioturo of the roligious conditions of India in tho 4th 
century B.C. His Arthatislra montions some ol the important 
religious seote of his time. Bonifies the Hindu", tboro were 
tho Ajtvakas and tho Buddhists. Monks and nuns, and PAshun- 
das, an indefinite class of heretics, could bo seen everywhere 
in tho country. People believed in and practised magic ex- 
tensively. Animals were sacrificed on a largo scalo, especially 
by the Brahmanas in their forest hermitages. The country 
waa full of tirlhat and sacred places, which pious pilgrims 
constantly visited. Trees were considered holy ; hence they 
became the objects of pious popular devotion. Yaksbas and 
nfigas, so very prominent in later Buddhism had already become 
popular ; greater honour was paid to them than even to the 
gods. The worship of tho chaityax was a common feature of reli- 
gious life. The Buddhists were not prominent, and the sfiipa 
is mentioned only onco. 

Such was tho religious condition of the society into which 
Buddhism was introduced. The professors of the new faith had 
to incorporate into it almost all the important elements of 
popular religion, in order to attain their object. The worship 
of images, chaibyas, trees, NAgoa and Yakabas, magical practices, 
and pilgrimages wore admitted, in conree of time, into the now 
faith. Somo.of thcao wore considered specially Buddhistic in 
l&tor ages.'* 

Moreover, the reformed religion was profoundly influenced, 
very early in its coroor, by curtain movements of thought. 
Brahmanism began to shed much of its formalism and put forth 
now shoots. The oult of Bhakti was gradually taking shape. 
Its influenco is dimly discernible in tho Upanishads, By tbe 
time of PAoini and Potanjali, VAsudovo, tho supreme god of the 
BhAgavatns, had already become a poworful deity. Tbe Bhnkti- 
cult, however, finds its olcoro9t expression in the B/tagavadgUH. 

• Th* Buddha condoraacd moil ot these in the Brah^ajila-Svlla. Em 
D ialogues, Vol. I. 



Tho most important feature of tbi* new development of 
Brahmanism is .its insistence on the worship of a personal pod, who 
is tho Lord of the universe. Tt hod, tborofoco, a greater appeal to 
the human heart than Buddhism with its denial of god and asser- 
tion of impersonal NirvApa as tho ullimuto reality. Heuce it 
becamo a very serious rival fur Buddhism to rockon with. 

Tho deniro to outiun the new rival, coupled with the natural 
craving of tho heart to havo somo anthropomorphic form 
to worship, gave birth to a new form of Buddhism called 
MiibllyAnii.m. A galaxy of saints was created, and Gautama, 
the Buddha, was deified. Hu now took tho tamo placo in his 
ruligion as Brahma in Brahmanism. Tho Buddhists began 
to vie with tho Hindus in building shrines intended for tho 
habitation of their gods. At first, they were timid ; thoy did 
not build temples resembling those of the Ilindae, because the 
tl&pu stood in their way. It bad its origin in an earlier age 
when it was not intended to be a temple. And it had become 
tho mo3t sacred institution by the time whon was 
born. It was not possible either to abandon it completely or to 
modify its form radically. Nevertheless, the form of the stupa 
gradually nnderwent a change. The original domical structure 
became, in course of time, conical in form, approximating itself 
more and more to the shape of the Hindu temple. 

What has been said above is borne oat by the stHpas that 
have oorno down to our own times. For tho purpose of under- 
standing the discussion, it is necessary that wo should keep in 
mind the following laot Tho stupa consists of two well defined 
parts, via., the dome, and the ‘ too ’ surmounted by one or more 
umbrellas. "Both the domical stupa and the ‘tee’ with the 
umbrella* became elongated in course of time, and assumed the 
shape of a temple."* 

" Tho oarliest sl&pat wero low in proportion to their diameter. 
Thus tho oldest known example, that of I’iprahwa (460 B. 0.), 
stands only about 22 feet high, with a diameter at the base of 110 
fuel. As time wunt on tho rotative height increased. Thu* the 
great stupa a*. SAnchi erected some 200 years latur, is about 64 
feet high, while the diameter at tho baso of the dome is 106 
feet. The proportional height hero is just about half, whilst at 
Piprahwa, it is less than ono-fifth. The DhAmek Stftpa at 
SAran&tb near Benares, was ereclod several centurion later. Here 


tho height is 110 feet above the surrounding ruins, and about 128 
feet above the plain, with a diameter of only 03 feot. Thus the 
height is now considerably more than the diameter. In other 
words, tho tUXpa shows a tondonoy in oourso of tiiuo to assume 
the shape of a towor.”* At Ajaut*, "tho low and almost bare 
hemisphere of tho Asdltan nge hoi beoomo oonventioualisod into 
a tail ornamental tower surmounting an elaborately carved 
basomont." * 

Tho same development, or " elongation " a* it is called, U also 
seen iu the umbrellas." Tho umbrella over the ■ toe ' was ori- 
ginally a tree with its foliage. It bocamo conventionalised in 

* Mr. Longhurv. gives a lanciful account ol the origin oi Ilia umbrellas over 
the it&pat. Tliey did nob originate, si he in the offering to a shrine o( 

a royal umbrella by some imaginary pious monarch. It had, oo the other bind, 
its mat deep in Hie post. Tbosocallod umbrella is the convent! onalieed tree 
planted upon the grave, or the one In whose foliage the bonm of live dead were 
hidden. Wa have tlw tracer of such a custom pi«c. v-d both in our Vedic and 
Purin-c literature*. 

Tlie funeral liymn ItV. X 13 mentions the pillar, which the pifrrrare required 
to bold firm ; it also refer* to ' the piled up earth ' over the grave. Atbarva 
Veda XVIII. 2. 31 refers to a different method of disposing of the dead : — 

" They that arc baried, they that are wraeterei (cap) away, they that are 
bnmrai. and they that are set up (uJiM’a) etc." 

Referring to the last, uitilklto. Whitney says. “It evidmtly refers to 
exposure on something elevated, such aa is practised by many people." [Ha'. Or. 
8ir>«e, VoL 8). Perhaps, it alludes to Uie setting up of on the top of a 
pillar. The archaeological discoveries at Laurlya-Nai'dangar have thrown much 
light on these obscure allus.ons. Dr. Bloch found in seme clay funeral mounds, 
long posts of sal wood with "n deposit of human bones and charcoal " on their 
top. These pillsre seem to have taken the place of the tree upon the grave. It la 
said in RV. IX that Ynmn and Varoga, tho two kiugs of the dead carouse in heaven 
with tho pitrh uoder tho loafy foliage of a huge tree. Tho tree which was planted 
upon tho graves might havo been intended to symbolise she tree in hoavoo. 

In the MahAbhtrau, bk. iv, tho PApdavas hide their weapons on a Wee In the 
cemetery outside the city of VlrAk In this connection the following postage 
oocurs: "And Nak«U ascended the troo and deposited on It the boos and other 
weapons. And he tied thorn first on those part* of the troe which would not 
break, and where ties ram would not penetrate. And ehe Pflmjavau hung up a 
corpse (on tho troe) knowing that people untiling ttw stench of the corpse would 
my — Kern sure is a dead body, and would avoid tho tree from a distance. And on 
being asked by tho shepherds and cowherds regard eg the corpse, these repres- 
wa ol loss said unto them : " This is onr mothor. nged one hundred and eighty 
years. We have hung up her dead body, in accordance with tbs custom observed 
by oar forefathers." 

Tliis evidently refers to a custom of exposing the dead body on the trees 
which mast have bwo lamlllar to the people at that lime. 


oouraa of lime ; its origin was forgotten, and it nu considered aa 
umbrella. Fancy and excessive piety were responsible for the 
multiplication of its number, for instance, on some of the stupas 
8calptured on the gateway of tho greats ! upas at Bftnchi. Hero the 
umbrellas aro not ariungcd in tier*, but in various othor ways ; 
and at AmaiAvati, thoy form a hat-like heap on the top of the 
'too.' At Ajuutu, they assume the form of a stocplo ' reaching 
almost the roof of tho ohaitya Thus, at tho beginning of tho 
early Middle Ages, 1 tho bare bemisphoro of Aflokau ago ’ with its 
tee and umbrellas ' assumed tho shape of a temple, square in plun, 
with a domed roof surmounted by an ornamental Bpire,' f The 
archaeological evidence thut we have just considered points to 
some external inlluonce which gradually transformed hemispheri- 
cal stupa into a conical or pyramidal tower. Wo bolieve that this 
external influence carno from the side of the Hindu temple. The 
same set of facts, however, is generally advanced to show that tho 
temple is a development of the stilpa. There are two objections 
which we have to raise against this position, In the first place, 
the Hindu temple, as we have already shown, was in existence at 
the time of Gautama, the law-giver iu the dth or 7th century 
before Christ. Therefore, it could not have been developed from 
the stilpa, which assumed a form analogous to the Hindu temple 
only in the 5th or thB Cth century A. D. Secondly, tho theory 
doeB not explain why a struotoro which biul originally a low 
hemisphere as roof should have assumed the shape of a conical or 
a pyramidal tower. It is left to our imagination to picture the 
oauses which were responsible for this development. If we agree 
that tho Buddhists modelled tho stupa upon the temple, it 
becomes clear how a tower came out of an originally horuispheri- 
oal stracturo. 


* V. A. Smith 
» SUn Kocow 

* Lorgbunt 

* to. 

* to. 

* do. 

» do. 

... Tlx Birly History of India, Srd Bdn„ p. ISA. 

... The Indian Antiquary, Vol. XXXVIII, pp. HU-D. 
... Influence of Umbrella in Indian Art. 

... Ibtd. 

... Ibid 
... Ibid. 

... Ibid. 



The discussion has boon oarriod bo for, on general linoe. 
It applies lo the uiininaa in gnnemb Lei us now examine its 
boaring on tho Bontb Indian typo. The Dravidious iuo said 
to have borrowed ii from the Buddhists for the purpo3C of adorning 
their tomplo with an ornamental headgear. At first sight, this 
BoeniR io bo n reasonable hypothesis, oepocially us Ibero appears 
lo bo no other way of explaining us origin. 1£ wo closoly 
examino it, we bco at onoo that wo are following a wrong track 
in accepting it, as the following discuision will show. 

The beginning of tho temple architecture in South India is 
attributed to the Pal lavas who ruled the country during tho 6tli 
and 7th centuries A.D. Longburst uuuuciutes the current theory 
as follows : " The earliest Hindu temples in Southern India aro 
those at Mahabalipurara iu the Chingloput district which aro 
generally known as the ‘ Seven Pagodas.’ The inscriptions on 
these temples record that they were hewn out of tho living rock 
by the Pal lavas in the 7th century A, D.; and the style of their 
architecture shows that they are stone models of former 
Buddhist buildings which have been adopted to suit the require- 
ments of Hinduism." 1 

There are two facts which give to this theory some plausi- 
bility. In the first place, the total absence of any temple belong- 
ing to a date prior to tho 7th century A.D. ; aud secondly, tho 
construction of a large number of temples immediately after this 
period. These seem ' to loud weight to the surmise ’ that before 
this time, ' no templos wero built " in South India. 

However, tho MandagapaU“ inscription of NUbfiodra- 
varman I, brought to light- by tho untiring zeal of tho eminent 
Frenchman M. Jouvcau Dubrouil has, in our opinion, overthrown 
tho above theory. The inscription is a short one, and it runs 
us follows 



' This is tho temple caused to be constructed by the (king 
Vichitrachitta, for (»'.«. to contain togethor the images of) 
Brahmil. Isvara, und Vishnu, withont (the use of) bricks, with- 
out timber, without motals, and without mortar.’* 

'Viohitraohitta’ is one of the many titles of MahAndravarman 
I. Aocording to this inscription, temples oxistod even before 
tho timo of Mah&ndravannan I, only they wore bnilt of bricks, 
timbor, metals and mortar. Tho inscription refutes tho state- 
ment that Mahfindra was tho Grst to introduco the art of toinplo- 
building into Houth India. Wo shall hero consider tho opiuions 
of three of the most competent authorities on tho oubjoct : 
Dubreuil says, — 

“The Mandagapattu inscription clearly says that at the 
epuch of Mah^ndra thero existed also temples which were not 
cut in rocks, but which were built with brick, wood, metal, and 

“ Tho last inference is important .... Tbe Mandagapatlu 
inscription proves . . . that the Hindus knew perfectly well how 
to build temples. . . . Thus then at the epoch of Mahfindra, 
it is certain that there did exist temples of 8tone, brick, timber, 
me; a I and mortar, and that these buildings made of perishable 
materials have all fallen into ruins, and have been destroyed 
eilher by time or by men.”* 

Longhurst agrees with Dubreuil, Tie is of opinion that 
* the curious-minded ’ was “ the inventor or originator of the art 
of carving Hindu temples out of natural rock instead of building 
them in tho usual way with bricks and lime, wooden pillars, and 
roofs decoratod with metal fmiftl8.” , 

The same opinion in expressed more olaborately by Mr. 
Oopinatha IUo, the learned editor of the inacription. " The most 
important information convoyed by it is that boforo the timo 
of Viohitraohitta, bricks, timber, metal, and mortar wore tho 
common building matcriol. Evidently tbe basement and walls 
of buildings were of brick work plastered with chunam, and tho 
superstructures were composed of wood-work, held In position 
by tbo use of melallia nails and bands. This, in fact, even 
to this day is the rnodo of construction on the Malabar coast . . . 
.... Tho statement made in this inscription that Mahfindra- 
varman did not employ bricks, timber, metal, and mortar clearly 
warrants our drawing tho conclusion that temples bnilt before his 


time, were all of such perishable materials aa bricks, eto., they 
were all ruined in course of time, anil that this is the first rook- 

cut shrino of hia It is impossible for a number 

of temples to have come suddonly into exiatouce, from the 
beginning of tho 7th contary, unless the building of the tomples 
had been practised long before 

Tho three writers whose views arc quoted above express 
moro or loss an identical opinion on tho subjool. All the three 
agree in thinking that there were templet before tho timo 
of Muhf'ndravarman T and that they were built of mortar, brick, 
timbor, otc. That timber was made uso of in the construction of 
tomples, especially of tho viiMnas it proved by the following 
reference in MAnasira, a great work ou architecture : 

" VitnBnat " according to it, " aro of three sorts, distin- 
guished from one another by the principal materials of which 
they aro formed A3 Suddha, puro ; miSra, mixed ; ond sai.klrna 
or anomalous.” (Tho materials tfted are, in the lauguoge 
of the Mandagapatta inscription ‘ timber, stone, brick, etc.') “An 
edifice is ‘ luddha ' which is composed of but one material as 
stone, brick, etc., and this is considered best of all. 'MUra' is 
that which is composed of two kinds of material, such as brick 
and stone and metals ; and 'sar.ktriia * is that which is a compound 
of three or more kinds of matorials, ns timber, stone, brick, 
metal. eto." T 

There is also much cpigraphical evidence which shows that 
temples existed in South India from very early times. 

(1) The TirukUa’ukunrain grant of the Choln king RA>*V#Mrivi.rmas idle us 
that a Pallava king caUod Skaodaaithya, a predcceisor of VAcflpIkoetJa Niraoimlia- 
pdMsraiyar gave a certain Istid ** free from t.t»«i to tint Irrt al tbe god of tho holy 
MOhuthlna (temple) at Tiruklalukunram.” (Kji. M. Ill, 8T?). 

(3) Tho nrltlah MiHom Plates of Cblrudtvi. tfc# queen of Ynva-iuhArtJa 
Iliiddhavaiinan.aad the daughter-in-law of tho Pallavs king Vljaya-Sksivlavaiman 
(c.A-D. 160-876) inform us that tho queen made ths grant of s Held " to t he god 
NSrSysna of the Kull-MahntrakA temple at DAtara." (fiy IW-, VIII, US). 

(8) Ths grants of ths fUlsnkBysps king, wlvs ruled In Vargl from A.D. 810 to 
A.D. 460 allude to a tomplo of (ha Sun-god. ChSlraratKssvBml. st the city of Vengl 
{ffp. fnd.. IX. Jr. Ao. H.S.I). 

(«) According to the Tfllnem*)* inscription ot tho Kadamba.King Kakortha- 
varman, the (Jlva temple at Slhluakuodar* Misted from the time of the SAbakaini 

Say-ihs bhagavatd BkavssyftdidSvasy* sidhyilaye . . . Sfttakarny-fldibbifi— 
traddhayfl-abhyarchchite Ac ' ' Here si the holy temple of Use primeval god 
Dhava which was worshipped with faith by fjftiakarai and other ktags, Ac 


These oxtrnota from old inscriptions clearly show that 
temples existed in all parts of South India from at least tho 
second century uf the Christian era. 

Consequently, tho theory that tho Pal lavas were tho first to 
introduce temple-architocturo in South India must be given up. 
What really the Pnllavas had dono for our temple 1# to substitute 
inipcrisbablo material such ns stone for perishable materials like 
brick, Limber, etc. in building temples. 

Now, we have to nslc the question, what was tho form of 
the pre-Pallava tetnplo? It is not very difficult to answer this 
quo8iion. Tbo temples at MahAbaliporara Bupply tho necomry 
answer. As wo have already noted, Mubfcndravarman I intro- 
duced "the art of carving Hindu temples out of natural rock." 
In tho M»ndagapa$tu inscription, he claims ooly tbo credit of 
substituting atone for moro perishable building material. What 
he had actually done was to copy in ‘ natural rock ’ the brick 
and timber models of his time. He built rock temples at 
MahAbalipuram on the pattern of pre-existing brick and timber 
temple3. “Toe most casual visitor," says Longhurst, “to the 
wonderful Pallava monuments at the Seven Pagodas must have 
noticed that all the monolithic free-standing temples, locally 
known as ' rathas ’ are obviously only stone models of buildings 
constructed with brick and mortar with timber-framed roofs 
decorated with copper-gilt ornaments like those referred to in 
the inscription quoted abovo." 

There is alw another source from which we can have an 
idea of tho shape of tho pre.Pallava temple. This is the hugo 
wooden pyramidal car which ia usually attached to all our 
temples. The temple cars, it must bo remembered, aro called 
ratliaA, 1 cars is it by this term that the monolithic temples at 
MabAbalipuram are generally known. Tbo terra vimdua also 
means a ' moving oar.' There seems to be some sort of connec- 
tion, botwoon ' ratha ' and ' viiuAna.' Dr. A. K. CootnuraawAmi 
makes a pointed roforoncu to this resemblance. “ The resemb- 
lance of the AryAvarto iikhara to the bamboo scaffolding of a 
processional car ia too striking to be accidental. Moro than that, 
wo actually Gud etono temples of great size provided with enor- 
raouB 6tone wheels (KonarAk, Vijayanagar) : and tho monolithic 
temples at MahAbalipuram are actually called rat ha $ , that is, 
cars, white the term vimdna appliod to later Dravidian temples. 


has originally the same sense of 'vehicle ’ or ‘moving palace.' 
Something of the sense of life belonging to older vehicles 
remains associated with later buildings." 8 

The temple car is a vestige of the past. It represent* the 
temple of an earlier day when the chief building material was 
wood. In South India, ua in other parts of the country, wooden 
arohitootmii preceded stone arohitectnro. Although tho pooplo 
learnt, to build their temples with more durable material lilio 
stono, they retained tho older form of tho tcmplo on account of 
thoir conservative toniperumtuc. 

Uv/errnct. t 

' Lonfchurrt Rf|»rt of Arcti. DepU. Southern Circle. tOlft-lG, p. 85, 

8 Do. ... Ibid. 

’ JouVeaa Dubrouil. Conjoovoiani Inscription of Mahfindia I. 

4 IX>. ... Ibid. 

’ Loojjtiuiib ... Memoirs of bbe Arclmolojical Survey. No. IT. Tho 
Pallava Architecture. Part I, pp. H2-3. 

* Gopioilth* liao ... Epii-raphia lndlca, Vol. XV, p. 15. 

1 Rim KAi ... Ess»y on the Indian Archllottore, pp. 48-49. 

B A. K. Honiara- ArW & Crafts, pp. 118-119. 





Wo have yet lo determine tho way in which the early South 
Indian temple acquired the cfwdna. Tho current theory about 
it has already been stated in a previous ohnptor, where we ex- 
pressed our disagreement with it. It is not true that tho South 
Indian temple buildors borrowed tho Bnddhist it up a und placed 
it ns an ornament ovor tho sanctum. There are oortain facts 
which go against this theory. 

In the course of our preceding discussion, wo have noted 
tsvo typos of South Indian temples: (1) the dolmen temple, and 
(2) tho Tod* ' boatb.' It is with tho latter that wo are concerned 
at present, lor its preseuco removes the necessity of borrowing 
tho vimdna from the Buddhists. The 'Loath 1 appears to repre- 
sent the prototype of the South Indian vimAna which soemB to 
be os much indigenous to the soil of the South as the temple 

The Tofla * boath ’ has already been described in a different 
context, when wc noted its resemblance to the shrines of Vetaja. 
It is necessary that we should know something more about it. 
We have to determine whether it is Indo-Aryan or Dravidian in 
its origin. The problem is really difficult. The Toda ‘ boath ' 
shows a striking resemblance to the Ary&varta temple. A com- 
parison of the Bodli-Uaya plaque, and the * boath ’ brings ont all 
points of resemblance very clearly. The conical tower, the 
sikhara, and tho arched gateway have their counterparts iu the 
conical hut.sbrino, the 9tono placed on the lop, and tho low 
arched-doorway. Thera is, however, ono point of difference. 
Although tho pra/idra round tho shrine in tha Bodh-Goya plaque 
corresponda to tho rudu wall of uucomcntcd stones round the 
• boath tho former is rectangular in form, whereas tho laltor is 
circular. Ncvortholcss tho rosemhlanco is romarkablo. It is dao 
to tho fact that the temple of the Bodli-Uaya plaque and othrr 
Ary&varla temples were originally medalled upon a hut-shrioo 
similar to tho Toda ' booth.’ It may also bo interesting to nolo 
that the Toda* are semi-pastoral peoplo, and that they have not 

Journal of Literature an J Same*. 



yet completely shaken off their nomadic habits. They are ac- 
customed to migrate during cortain soaaons of the year with 
their cnttlo and their god*. 

However, the 1 boath ’ shows at tho same time cortain very 
strong Dravidian afBniiioa. Its rosouiblauoc to the VotA|a shrines 
ia notod on more than one occasion. Tho PAy tomploa of 
tho Tinnovolly district are also said to bo similar in form. Tho 
rosemblnnce between tho Toda * boath ' and the P6y tomplo has 
so struck the atteutlon of Gustav Opperc tlmt ho remarks as 
follows : “ Theso oboliBk shrines represent n very ancient style 
of arohitoctaro. It is hero worth mentioning that of tho two 
kinds of temples which are found among tho Todas, the boa 
(boath) which is rogarded as the older form of building and of 
which thcro are only three or fonr left on the bills, is such a 
conical structure looking from a distance exactly like a church- 
steeple." 1 

We consider, therefore, that the Toda ‘ booth ’ represents the 
most primitive Dravidian architectural style. Its resemblance to 
tho Aryftvarta temple can bo satisfactorily accounted for by 
assuming that the Aryans borrowed this type of temple from the 
Dravidians, during the early days of their migration into India. 
It became in course of time the only type ol temple known in 
tho North, whereas it was profoundly affected by the dolmen 
temple which had grown up later in the South. These two types 
of primitive temples must have bocn existing side by side at one 
time in South India. With the expansion of the Aryans to the 
south, a change came over these temples. The contact between 
tho two peoples resulted in tho ooraplute aryanisation not only 
of the Dravidian culture but of their religion. The Dravidian 
deities were admitted into tho pintliuou of Aryan gods, tho malas 
being recognised us tho sons or tho aapeot*. und tho femalos ua 
the wives of tbo now divinities. Tho Dravidian and tho Aryan 
gods bccamo members of one divino community and had to Ilvo 

This religions syncretism produced a similar syncretism in 
tho tomplo. When u Dravidian goddess married an Aryan god, 
they came to live together in a common dwelling place ; but each 
of them bad his or her own houso before their marriage. 
Neither wob williuR to give up his or her abode in favour of the 


other.* A oora promise was necessary. Suoh a compromise was 
made possible by the preseuco of the boa-type shrine which 
appeared as an exact counterpart of the Aryan turn pie. It must bo 
remembered in this connection chat the temples of Aryan Rode had 
their origin in a primitive Dravidian lmt-*lirino, resembling tho 
4 boa.’ Tho boa-shvino was, ilicmforo, superimposed upon tho 
dolmen temple, and this resulted in tho birth of the prc-Pallava 
touiplo of South Indio. The nuwly married oonplo lived happily 
under this now roof. The lornpla that was thus evolved was 
further subjected to Baddhistio influences and culminated in tho 
production of the style of architecture which wo sco at Mahft- 

Thus it was that the modern Dravidian temple grow up. 
Every part of the temple has its own significance, and no part 
ig added for the sake of mere ornamentation. The vimuua is as 
necessary a part of our toiuplc as the sanctum itself. That 
is why our iifpis say that a temple without a cimilna is like 
a man without a head.’ However, further consideration of thia 
important and intricate subject will be left over for another 

This syncretism of the Aryan and the Dravidian religions 
is aptly illustrated by the history of Saivistn. htivu or Itodra 
is the typical Aryan conquering god, who advanced towards the 
south, conqnering and absorbing the religions of tho original 
inhabitants of tho south. That is why fiaivism still remains, 
in one form or another the national religion of South India. 
We shall, at pregent, do no more than to barely illustrate what 
we have Raid by means of a few select legends associated with 
some important gods. I 

fieven kings who were ‘ reigning in a certain city ' noglectod 
to worship tho ftukti (tho local presiding deity) of tho place. 
At first talcing tho form of an Erukala (gipsy) woman, she went 
to tho oldost of the kings bo persuado him to show hor proper 
respoct. But ho drove her away. Next, disguising horself 
as a monk, a follower of Siva of whom, by the way. tho king was 

• This U still Men In tbs temples dedicated to Siva. Tbs god lives in one 
shrine, and llis goddess )u another. There nr* two separate temples, although 
they are situated in the «me compound, 

t The subject will bs dealt with more adequately in my oisay upon the 
Origins ot tho Liana Cult. 



a worshipper, sho approached the, and requested him 
to give her ' a rock iu a dosait place.’ On securing what she 
desired, she ploughed the fir mind and planted a garden. She 
brought some flowers from Ibis garden to ibe king, and told him 
that • diva would bo much pleased ir be (the king) would use 
them in daily worship.' The king then app-.inted her to supply 
him with flowers regularly for bis daily worship. At Inst, shn 
induced him to go to tho garden, and himself pluck tho flowers, 
urging that by this not be would please diva more. Oco day, 
whilo ho woo in tho garden gathering flowers ua usual, tho 6akti 
took him unawares and had him surrounded by her attendants. 
Then she appeared before him in her real form, and told him 
that unless ho instituted her worship, sho would have him 
impaled. The king refused to yield to her, and bo was impaled. 
The place where ho was impaled camo to bo known as KorhpAda, 
and the goddess KorlapfLti Ankamina. 11 

Here ia tho story of king Rudra, Me was tho last son 
of a Brahman named Vira Kalita EAja. Tho latter was a great 
bfiakta of P6i0r3uima. While still in the womb of his mother, 
Rudra bod taken a vow not to worship the favourite deity of his 
father. Some years after his birth, ho was clectod king of his 
place. Thoroupon he prohibited the worship of Foluramma, and 
even desecrated her temple. Tho goddess became indignant 
and resolved to take vengeaace upon the king. With the aid 
of Mfttamraa and her brother FOCa-RAzu, sho created ‘three 
hundred and sixty diseases ’ which she spread in the community. 
The king himself was stricken with diseaso ‘ and was at tho 
point of death.’ Ho would not oonsent to worship PAIfiramran 
oven then. But the mother of the king went to tb« goddam 
in secret, and implored her to spare tho life of hor royal son. 
Tho goddati demanded impossible conditions. Tho king was 
informed of this ; but he did not aooodo to them. Thou ij&tara 
was dectarod by PAta-RAzu. Diseases increased in tho place. 
Mun aud call lo began to die in hundreds. Mfttuimua announced 
in tho town that all tho misfortnnos of tho people had their 
origin in tho king's refusal to worship PdlArumma. 1 King 
Rudra hearing this, consented with all his people lo worship 
AinmavAro . . . . ' 4 

The story of the marriage of MtoAkshi with fiiva illustrates 
one stage of tho fusion between tho Aryan and the Dravidian 


religions. MlnAkabi, tho goddoss-of Mndura, marriod Chokkalin- 
gain, a local demon identified with Siva. 

According to the legend rccordod in the itadurai-sthala- 
purlina, MtnAkahi Fucoecded her futhor on the throne of Madura. 
When sho attained maturity, she wm naked to choose a husband. 
Bhe that she would wage war 11(1011 tho neighbouring kinga, 
arul would take as husband whosoever should vanquish her. Hhe 
conqnorod all earthly kings, and proceeded to Kail Am to conquer 
ftivn. Whon, however, sho mot tbo god, she found by meani of 
a sign that he was her husband. * The god (Siva) asked hor to 
return to Madura where sho dwolt.’ Accordingly sho returned 
home, The preparations for tho marriage woro made, and all the 
gods wero invitod to attend tbo wedding. Then Siva came at tho 
appointed time, and Mln&kshi was seated by his side ' on the 
marriage throne, whon Vishnu joined their hands.’ r ‘ 

The Adi-§akti was in the beginning; onoo sho fell in lovo 
with Vishnu. When sho proposed to Vishnu to marry her, he 
asked her to give him her discus and the third eye. She gave 
them to him ; consequently she lost half of her power. Then 
Vishnu H 3 ked her to take a bath in the soa ana roturn to him to 
become hi 9 6 pouse. Meanwhile, he drank all the water in tho 
seas, and no wator was to be had for her to bathe in. Sho became 
exceedingly angry. This frightened Brahma, Vishiau and Siva. 
It was then that they created ViAvnkarmn and aBked him to 
make them a chariot at once. When the chariot was ready, they 
got into it and asoended into the sky. 

After much wandering, tho Adi ftakti discovered a small 
pool of wator in which sho bathed, and returned to tho place 
whore she had loft hor iotonded spouse ; but he was nowhoro to 
bo found. Sho began to woop bitterly, became ho had doooivod 
hor. Suddenly the three gods appeared in their chariot In the 
skioB. She bogged them to taka her also into thoir chariot. 
Vislmu said that elm might go up to them. Sho did bo; but in 
tho attempt she lost all bor power, and was in a holploes condi- 
tion. Ho then threw at hor his discus and cut hor into throe 
pieces of which he took- the head, Brahma tho trunk, and diva tho 
leg 9 . Thcso three parts became three different Saktis, Lakshin!, 
Somvatl aud PArvati, whom the three gods married respec- 
tively. 0 



The font legends that have bceu cited above illustrate Ihe 
various stages iu the union o( the Dravidian and the Aryan 
religions. Tho first legend shows tho conflict betwoen tho 
Dravidian and the Aryan gods, and the complete defeat and des- 
truction of tho latter by the former. Tho seoond represents tho 
conflict between tho two sots of gods in which tho Aryans could 
not bo destroyed, but could only be forcod to acknowledge tho 
superiority of tho Dravidians. In the third, tho oonflict is equal, 
and ends in n diplomatic marriage. The lost describes tho 
comploto victory of tho Aryan gods over tho Dravidian. Tho 
conflict is now ended, Tho proooss of the aryanisntiou of tho 
Dravidian religion is comploto. Besides, traces of this syncretism 
can still bo detected in the temple iteolf. In every teuiplo tower 
‘ there is what is called a mukhabkadra or front tabernacle,’* at 
the top of the tower. A stucco imago of the doily within tho 
sanctum, or of one of his avatars is invariably placed in it. Thus 
in the same temple, we have thu principal deity in two places, 
ono above and another below. This minor architectural detail 
snows that our present vimOna was originally an independent 
Bhrioe by itself, boforc it was tacked on to the sanctum, the 
dolmen temple. The new edifice that came into being in this 
manner represented tho pre-Pallava South Indian temple. 
This was later subjected to the influence of the Buddhists who 
left their murk on it. Tho monolithic temples at MahAbalipuritn 
oxhibit the standard form of the South Indian temple, after it 
came under the influence of the Buddhists. 


‘ Ouatav Oppett 

0 Anaothtlwar 

* blmoro 

* Do. 

* Do. 

* Do. 

1 AoioUillwr 

The Original Inhabitants of India, p. 573. 
Indian Architecture, Vol. I. p. 2B9. 

Tho Dravidian Oods lu Hindu RolluloD. 



Indian Architecture, Vol. I. p. 339. 



Thovo w.onotliot typo of nrchiteoluio ll»ut sconifi to have 
boon known in South radio in early times. Th« most primitive 
representative of this type is the Sa^nlni-MA^on'o pillar, which 
in n common feature of tbo country surrounding the town of 
Tinnovully. The pillar is genorally pyramidal in shape, although 
the conical variety is not unknown. Occasionally, pillars rowm- 
bling miniature temple i)iut!lnas (as for instonoo.ol Palamcottah) 
arc also wen. Three ol these pillars gonomlly stand together, 
although singlo onwi aro met with, standing bore and there. 
They are built of bricks and morlar, but more frequently of clay. 
They are sapposod to bo tbo dwelling places of BuiJnlai-MAdQn 
or ' the lord of the cremation ground This appellation is 
folly explained by the legends associated with him. He was 
originally n demon of the graveyard feeding on corpses, although 
at present he is identified with god Siva. 

Again, we see the same stylo of architecture in a more 
developed form in another part of South India. At Mudu- 
bidri in South Canara ara seen tombs of the priests. " They 
vary much in siae and magnificence, somo being from three to 
live or seven storeys ia height." ' Tn spite of what Fergussou 
says to the contrary, their kinship to our temple towers or 
vimAnas is unmistakable. These tombs mark a stage in the 
development of Su^alai’s pillars. Both of them are pyramidal 
in shape ; the tombs have storeys, whereas Smjalai's pillars have 
generally none. 

The next stage in the growth of this type of building ia 
gcnorally seen in our graveyards. Over a good number of 
graves are found structures of brick and chuuarn which consist 
of a Berios of square platforms placed one above tho other. Tbo 
platform at tho bottom is tho biggost m tho Berios. Tho ono 
abovo it is smaller than that in size, tho next still smaller, and 
so on. Tbo whole structure, If of sufficient height, resembles a 
tomple tower in miniature. Sometimes this structure is built 
on a basement of solid brick. Thon its resemblance to a tcmplo 
is complete. 

TU Or»v« or ll.o FtlMU ai Modbidrl. 

T*V«t fiom K«r|UMon a k triia • a*4 EMvn Ard>\t**t*re. 

A South Indian Hlodu grave. 

Sot Moral l’r*M(U 

««k>m & • 1 tiuiUM MMU »* 


For the next stoge of development, wo hove to cross the 
narrow Gulf of Mannr.t and go to Ceylon. AL Pollonnaruva in 
Ceylon, them .stand* a building called the ' Ret Mehal Prasada.’ 
According to Ferguaion, " it i* one of the most perfect represen- 
tations existing of the Bovcn-etoroyed temples ol Assyria." 8 Its 
kinihip with the rathas of Mablbalipma and other building* of 
the Druvidian stylo is admitted on all hands. 

These structures arc closely related to ono another. Infaot, 
they belong to tho same stylo of architecture. This also i* shown 
by their association with tho graveyard. The connection of tho 
first three with the cemetery is already noted: that the last one 
also is similarly related to it is soon by tho close association of the 
1 Both Mehal Prasad ' with a splendid dolmen which stands before 
it. Thus, there i3 an inner unity binding them ull together into 
a siugle class. To the same class belong* the temple with the 
pyramidal vimAna and the dome-shaped tikhara. Unveil calls 
this sikhara Biva's dome. If he is right in this, the connection 
of this kind of vimaiia with the above is at oncu established, 
ft is a well-kDown fact that some of our important Siva shrines 
are actually built upon graves- In tome ot the important places 
ol pilgrimage, the temple of Siva stands or had ot one time stood 
on the cremation ground. In this connection, it may he interest- 
ing to note that Suijalai whosa temple we have already described 
is identified with 6iva. There appears to bo some justification 
for this identification ; for Bujalai, the lord of the cremation 
ground, cannot after all bo very different from ltndrn, tho lord 
of the rudra-bhtlmi or ‘the crematorium.’ 

Tho abovo considerations seem to justify us in concluding 
that the pyramidal vimdm marks tho fiual stage of development 
ol tho primitive typo of Dravidiuu architecture represented by 
BwjulnbM&duu'n pillars. 

Another variety of tho abovo typo io tho viitiAna with tho 
barrel-shaped summit. The titchara of ibis kind of vimAna 
boar* a striking resemblance to the roof of the Buddhist chaitya . 
A comparative study of the mV.dnact the BrMtanganfttba temple 
at Srtiangnm or of some of tho tathus at Mabltbalipuram, and the 
structural chailya at once reveals their kinship. It is generally 
inferred from this that the vimAna with the barrel-shaped 
summit is derived from the Buddhist chailya. It may be 



admitted that 6omo of tho oimdnas belonging to this class are 
modelled upon Buddhist chaityas ; but that does not moan 
that the ono is dorived from the other. The style of architecture 
eoen in the chatty a is very primitive and pre-Buddbiitic. This 
has nlr-vly been noted by Ferguason. According to him, 
" tho oxtomal forms or construction of theao hall* " bear very 
close resemblance to “tho huts of the Todoa on tho Nilngiri 
Hills.’' Ho says, " Thoir roofs hovo procisoly tho same elliptical 
forms as the ehaityn with tho ridgo, giving tho ogoo form oxtor- 
nally, and altogether, whether by accident or by dnsign, they arc 
miniature ehaityn halls.” He adds farther, " Buch forms may 
have existed in India two thousand years ago, and may have 
given rise to tho peculiarities of tho ehaityn bulls, but it is, 
of course, impossible to prove it." * 

We have shown in a previous context that the chaitya was 
not invented by the Buddhists. It waa in existence much 
earlier than the time of the Buddha and was commonly vene- 
rated by all the Hindus. It was still an important Hindu 
institution at the time of KauSilya. Moreover, it is clear frofe 
the ArthaSastra that tho chaitya was a structural building. Its 
external appearance could net have been very different from 
that of the shrine found among the bas-reliefs of Barhut which 
in the language of Fergusson ia " ao exactly like the ratha here 
(at Mahavellipore), that there can be no doubt that Buch buildings 
were used in the North of India two centuries at least before 
Christ.” 1 It is not unreasonable to conoludo from this that tho 
rutha's at Mabfcbalipura and consequently tho vimdtiaa with 
the barrel-shaped summits aro the lineal descendants of the 
pre Buddhistic Hindu chaitya. Perhaps, the modern Tamil 
tomple of Ceylon whioh Fergusson montions (Bk. IV, oh. II) 
may be taken os a fair representation of tho intermediate ataga 
iu tho dovolopmout of tho primitive chaitya into our modern 
tomple vmi mo." 

• Tbo rcwmbtanco which llie Teds hut heart to tbo asternal appearance of 
Hie chaitya i« noticed above. It is olao pointed out that it Is pre-lhiddhUtlc In 
origin. Tliero iro two points which we rauit keep In mind In connectloo with the 
primitive chaitya: Its early association with graves, sod Its later um sb shrine. 
Wo must wo whether tlwre is anything corresponding to tbcic two in the Tod* 
bat. Every Toda settlement hao a dairy attached to It. In a Toda village the 
dairy takes tbo place ol a temple. Two or three priests attend to the work of tho 
dairy, and look after ;ho sacred herd of buflaloea belonging to it. The dairy or 

A Ratha al Mababalipura. 

Taboo from MaveU'a Indian Architecture. 



the farin'/' ns il i» callod, Is an ordinary Toda hnl, specially inkmlol for the pur- 
pores of religion. Moreover, ii Is also uu*d ns a death cliamber on occooons ; when 
a male member ol a sett lemon t dies, Uie corpse is removed to (lie dairy whom it is 
kept until it Is carried to Uie ciemalian ground. Wlien. Iiowevor. 0 woman dim, 
a separate lint of Also ordinary typo It specially built to keep Iter corpea in, Those 
points bring out dourly U>a rasjmhlanoe Iwtweon the chaltya and Tods dairy. 

Moreover, UiO Toda dairy temple appoars to be dlreolly connccled willi the 
modorn Hindu temple. Evory Hindu temple has a reservoir ol water sttscliod to 
It. It is generally called Mnflru; and Uto gods are taken tore so moll met for 
hsthlnfl. Corresponding to tl- MmVu of Ute Hindu temple, we hsvea kutHnir 
itUclod to ovory Tods dairy. "At Modi, where there wee » kvflnlr foretell 
1'alol, It was a spring Imllt in with elonoe, and not a stream as at other villages." 
(It Ivors : Torfi/e, p. Hi). The ftiudAifr thus brings the Toda dairy and llw lllnde 
temple ncuici. 

1 Fergusson 
» Do. 

’ • Do. 

* Do. 

... Hist, of I ml. and Eastn. Architecture. p. 275. 
... Ibid., p. 308. 

... Ibid., p. 105-0. 

... Ibid., p- 100-0. 



Tho evolution of tho South Indian temple which is tho 
subject or tho forgoing study is a complicated process ; and a 
discussion of the subject must necessarily bo complex. Tim 
fools that have been considered in tho course of the investigation 
scorn to indiooto that Iho temple is the result of a long process 
of development which spreads over several centuries. The 
temple, which is invariably associated with gods, had, at ouu 
tirno, no oonnootion with them, Tho gods ware wornhipped in 
tho form of trees. This was Iho most primitive form of worship 
lmown to the original inhabitants of tho land. The toinplo bad 
its origin elsewhere. It originated in certain religions practices 
connected with Iho worshijTof the spirits of the dead, which 
were supposed to cause famines, epidemics and other calamities. 
Tho primitive people dreaded them much. They believed that 
these ghosts were unhappy and troubled men, unless they 
were properly treated by them. It was, therefore, considered 
necessary to propitiate them by offering them gifts. Moreover, 
the fear induced tho men to lake precautionary measures to protect 
themselves from the attacks of those spirits. An important step 
they adopted was to circumscribe the sphere of the malignant 
activity of tho spirits in a magic. circle of stones built aronnd the 
graves where they were generally believed to hover. This led to 
the formation of a new cnlt, the most prominent feature of which 
was the worship of graves and tombs surrounded by atono-circlcs. 
These became tho nuclei around which grew op tomplea in course 
of time. 

Although tho custom of oroctiog stonc-cirolce around graves 
has long ago disoppeared, vestiges of the practice still remain in 
Bocladod corners of tho country which are not vory rnuoh in 
touch with the oivilizod world. In sorno communities, such as 
tho To das, tho stone-oirclo is still associated with funeral ritos. 
The Kurumbas and the Irujos, howovot, oso it not so uiuoh iw a 
restraining circlo around tho grave, but as a shrino whore tho 
spirits of the dead are worshipped. Tho original magic oirolc 
of etonos is 9ccn hero in a stago of transition, when it is bnina 


transformed into a temple. Anothor change also must bo noticed. 
The place cf the simple grave anrronndod by a stone-circle is 
taUon by tho cairns, tho cromlechs, and tho dolmans. They 
appear to have had their origin in tho primitivo habit of burying 
a dead pornon in tho hut in which he dioa and of ios subsequent 
abandonment. Now roligious iduus and perhaps now concep- 
tions regarding tho lifo after death, appear to havo givon a per- 
manent and imperishable form to the huts which woro originally 
built of porishablo material. 

Gravos thus bccomo shrinoB where the spirits of tho dead 
might b« worshipped. It is at this stage that theeo shrines 
began to loso their distinctive character. Their connection with 
the dead became dim and remote. Tho change was gradual and 
imperceptible. It was brought about by tho close association of 
the spirits of the dead with the village deities. Tho temples 
which were originally built for the former became the places of 
habitation of the latter. The union of tho two classes of spirits 
t was tho rosult of a desire for rural economy on the part of tho 
primitive people. In order to avoid a double expenditure of 
money, they celebrated tho anniversary of the dead of the 
oommunity and tho annual festival of the village deities together. 
The two classes of spirits which worn worshipped together, could 
not be kepi separate. In course of tirao, they naturally foil 
together and formed n single community of spirits. This 
resulted in tho emergence of a now cult which retained some 
features of both tho older cults. The village deities who had 
originally no temples, acquired them by association with the 
spirits of the dead. 

The original religion of tho Dravidions consisted of tho 
worship of ancestral spirits and village goda. It was consider- 
ably modified by tho contact of the Dravidions with tho Aryans. 
An a result of Aryan invasions of South India, tho Drovidian 
religion wan completely ary (mined. Tho gods of tho two races 
united togothor and formed a single hierarchy. Tho temples 
which were connected with tho primitivo Dravidian religion 
become the centres of the reformed religion. Tho Aryan gods 
became thenceforward tho principal rcsidonts of tho Dravidian 

Tho tomplo which grew around tho graves is the dolmen- 
temple. It was a building consisting oi a rectangular chamber 


with a terraced toot. In front of thia chamber, there was 
a hall. There was no superstructure over the roof. It was 
this temple which the Aryan gods acquired for themselves, 
when they first entorod South India. It differed in certain 
important respects from tho modern South Indian temple. 
The modern temple consists of a sanctum, an adjoining hall 
in frout, and a conioal or pyramidal tower callod oimetna 
or stripe which aloud* upon Lha sanctum. It is not easy to 
discover tho origin of tho rumtna. People gen or ally believe 
that thia feature of our Loiuplo architecture was borrowed 
from the Buddhistic ilAprt ; hut this view in not based upon 
evidence. The Aryans entored South India long boforo tho time 
of the Buddha. They seem to have been familiar with temples 
at least as early as tho time of the Buddha, if not earlier. If we 
suppose that the Uravidinns learnt the art uf constructing 
wwinas from the Aryans who came to the South much earlier 
than the lime of the Buddha, there is no need for cs to think 
that the Dravidians borrowed the idea of vim&na from the 
proselytizing Buddhists. From very early times, there existed/ 
in Booth India two important types of temple, the dolmen- 
shaped and the hut-shaped. What really happened was that 
these two types coalesced under tho influence of tho Aryans. 
All tho local cults of South India wore united and built into 
a singlo universal cult. Tho result of this union was tho for- 
mation of a federation of all the religious sect* of South 
India. It was considered necessary to make concessions to tho 
conservative ideas of tbo people who clung fast to some of their 
aucicut institutions, the most important of which was their 
temple. Tho newcomers were also very unwilling to give 
up tho tcuiplo, whioh was considered an integral part of their 
roligion. Thu* wero brought together throe kinds of temples 
(1) the dolmcn nbapod, (2) tho hut-ehaped, and (3) the northern 
temple. The two Utter typee were similar in form. Tho so- 
called Aryan tomplo was an institution borrowed by tho Aryans 
from tho Dravidian inhabitants ol Northern India in former 
times. This accounts for tho remarkable resemblance which tho 
hut-shaped temple boars to the Aryan temple. Thu problem 
was, therefore, solved by combining the two ancient types 
of Dravidian temple, and evolving from it a new type which 
retained the most essential features of the older types. The hul- 

'ran conclusion 

shaped temple ww superimposed apou Lite dolmen- alt aped and 
the retail is the modern South ludi.n tomplo. It imv.t 
bo remembered that the amalgamation of the two ancient typos 
would not have taken place hut for tlx* presence of lie Aryan 
element in the reformed Dravldinn religion. The modern South 
Indian templo is thus seen to be tbo result of a long process 
of evolution. 

A careful examination of all tbo uimduas in South Indio 
roveals tho existence of three varieties of which the hnt-ahaped 
vimAM, just considered- ia ono. Tho two others are pyramidal- 
shaped; but they differ from each other with regard to their 
summits. Ono of them hna n domo-abnped summit, whereas tho 
summit of the other has the form of a barrel. These varieties 
of vimdnas have attracted attention long ngo, aud the authori- 
ties on the subject are inclined to trace their origin to foreign 
sources. It uiuBt be pointed out that the arch types of there two 
fonns ore found in South India, in tbc Sodalai-M Adau shrine 
t aud tho dairy of the Todas. There is. therefore, no need for 
supposing that they had been borrowed from outside. We now 
close our study with the conclusion that every part of our temple 
had an indigenous origin, and a careful perusal of history tolls 
us how the unification of its various parts into a single whole has 
keen brought about. 


MoUiorfisl PdiUahlng Houno 



Adilya ! OUoln king 2 

Adi Saku, »iory ol TO 

AJwu so. nn 

AubaUaiutW id 

Amaravatl, Mono circle* At, 8, 

10, resotublauco between stone 
circle* At, tuid Voiolu circles 
13-1*. alone earcles at, ami 
hoalh ... 17 

Ancestor, worship ol 

... 6.7 


... 4, tl! 


... Ml 

Anknlamma ... 

... 3J 


... 32 

AnuMiati apor van, nlhnlon 



... 2 

Arinjisvara. temple ol 



... 18. 19 

Arrur ... — ... * 

Arrant (Indo) 6, 51, S3, 67, 77, 78 

Atyao tcroplo OS, J8 

Arynvarla temple ... ... 67 

Ashtadhyayi, reference 4o two 

sor'a ol images ... ... 43 

Aavattha ... 5 

Azof ami, e*:plaaat.Mn of, 8, a llal 
connecting simple circle of 

stones with cairn* Toda ... 10, 30 




Bbagavau* - 

BI*kU. cult ol 

Bknvabhutt describee temple ol 


Bu liter. on Vatio ol Banddhu aod 

30. *1. 5b 
... 34, 43 
... 16, 18 





BoalS, Influence ol, on Sndalal ma- 
dan temple 1 , deacriptioo ol, by 
Martial I 17. comparison be- 
tween, and Uodh-Oaya plaque 
origin ol 60 , explanation ol 
losomUiuoo of. to Ary avail* 

. temple 

lodhilaya plaque ... 

Bonlu hongns 

BralunaJaU intU 
Hr oh mini em . ... 15, 66. 

Ilrceka. on atone clrclot. 1 0 , or, the 
worship of caiinu and crom- 
lechs by lVtdncns ... 
Brihatkattra ... 

Bruce Foote, reference to a liut- 
urn near Salem S. compares 
hut -urn of Salem to thoie near 
Alban lakes 

Ilocltaoac on the fe»« to appease 
Virilas 23, 24. reference to ... 

Cal. it. connection of, with Tcda 
AiHrams, probable origin of, 
IS. relation of, to funeral hut 
19. Meta's deieriplion of. S3, 
reference to 

Car 111 story of. 34, uw«l for 
memorial ceremonies by llada- 
gAi 35. association of, nith 
village dei lie* 

Ceded Districts 

CKattjai, reference in Artlu- 
nnatra to, 41, S3, derivation of. 
reference in MahabhanU and 
Raraayan* to, 61, 52. enumora- 
lion by Buddha of. 53, borrow- 
ed from Hindus. 55, worship of. 
57, reiemblance cl. to vimaua 
73, Forgoioon on Ilia style ol 





40. 47 
57, 38 








... *7 

architecture In 

eee t*e 

74 ... .7. 

... 1« 

Chaldean XlggareU, 

Vlmaaa an 



... 34. 48 

adaptation ol 

... ... 


... 5 

Cbaradavi, Britlah 
1 ’laics ol ... 




... 11) 

••• ••• 

IMiodevaru ... 


Chonna ... 

se* ih 


Ulocb, discovery ol a itupa he- 

Chikka Rsngaawaml 



loogiug to Brahmans 

... 48 

C holm vara temple 




l'AOH P*'** 

Coom*ra«»aml. on resemblance 
baCwwn ralhiu and vlmana ul 

OronJ/eAs, Hoy'a description of. 

11, connected with barrow*. 
woi»Uip of, 20, connoted with 
Hindu tempi* of loath India 23 

Crook, on Use purpo** of arono 
circle* 10, on *tm* circle* of 

V.UU 13 

Colt o! the daad, Longliuul on 
36, nature of 7 



• M 

... 19.79 



... 30 



1,6, 8, 12 

Devakottt Kalla 

• •• 





Dliiimefc Rijpo 


... 58 

Dharma Sntrn* 

... 47 




... 49, 5:1 

Dipiviii ... ... ... 31 

Mae i. Loiiglurst s deon-iphon 

of, an Kambadur village ‘21, 

C urity cf Mysore 24, Kara- 
? group of, and South 
Indian temple cemparal ... 24 

Dodd* RsngMvaml ... 17 

DraVdiaaa - 2.29, 

Dravidlan or (South Indian) 
temple, two kinds of, influence 
of terisri, dolmen and hut-urn 
on 1, 76, oonnactian of, with 
tha worship of deity 4, import- 
ant stage in tbe devclopmeit 
of 21. shrines of Kururobas 
repreoautaUvo of 22, abode of 
mighty god* of Aryan religion 
36, evolution of 7-. Aryan god*, 
reoidonti of. 77. Ih* mult of 
•upeiimpceltloo of h«t-»hnp«l 
tempt* on iloInMn-sbaped ... 711 

Ddbicul), oo Mandagapnttu la- 

■criptioo .. 


Ootid** • •• 23 

Oautnnvi Dhnrma Sutra*, refer- 
ence In, to biro iroagw of goda 
and tomplo* ... .. 44 

tHroar rock cdlcb, vlmana men- 
tlor.od In 42 

Doll** ... 7, 

Gonll • 99 

floptaatlM Rno, on Mandflgapattii 

inscription ... 62 

Oravmtaatv, typloal ilolly of 
South Indian Village 4, refer- 
ence to 00, illaitratlofli for the 
tranaferenco of temple* which 
grew round grave* to 31-33, 
comparison of. with hut-urns 
S3, transference of rites and 
ceremonies belonging to the 


•m 84-86 

Oudilmttu, meaning ol 



... 13. 13 





... W. 56 

Hindu temple, reference, 

in Gau- 

tama Dharma Sutras, to the 
existence of. 4i, explanation of 
the resemblance between, and 
Buddhist stupa 46; influence 
of. on the etopa explained ... 55-G0 

Htriideva 16. 17 

Hema ... ... ... 14 

Hunt, on the affinity between 
ancient grave and human habit- 
ation - 19 


Idlgii 7. 20 

Iruliu ... ... ...17,76 



Egyptian Pyramid*, probable 
eonoscUon c4, with vlmana ... 87 

Elmore. on Dravidlaa god*, 23, 
criticism ol tha view* ol ...27-80 


JVrpWKMi, critlcl«m of the opl- 
oton of, 7S, on Set Mahal 
Fratada 73. on the resemblance 
between bas-relief* at ifarhot 
and tbe ratbas et Mabavclll- 
pore ... — 

Jaodra* ... « 2 

Jay****), K. P. ... 47 


KakuBthavarman, Talaguoda la- 
acriplioDof m. 63 

Kalabbaireva 89 

KalahMtl ... ... 4 

lCammalan* 2 

Kambadur ... ... ... 91,22 

Kanakadurgirama ... ... 7, 97 

Kapeltka 14 

KatU-sarlt-sagar* ... ... 13, 33 




Kaatilya, on the religion* and Malei-Ari/tos ... ... 90 

social condition in 4«n century Megastlwn**, references to tom- 

B. C. >ll. reference toa temple pies ... 40 

with vlmana 43. on ctaltyaa, Melpftdl ... 'i 

33. rsferonce to religious sects. 3? Mill on worship of HliiadcYfi 

Kcdarcsvam 81 by Todu lfl, describes all 0 

Kortuodrpall ... .. 1H worshipped by Kuiurabs* ... *0 

Kharis ... ... .. 0 MUInd^Hnta 00 

Kola ill Monolllhi ... ... ... 0 

Kotnppakondaiwaml 7, 19 Mukhabludra 7 

Krishna SMtri dsocribM dilly Multi vlllngo 8i> 

MutynUmma 81 MuihUs ... ... ... U 

Kurubas 80, 94, 9<J, 31 Munlsvara 4,0 

Kurnmbos ... lfl. 30, M, M. 76 



Ungnm 2 . 3 

Lingatnraa ... ... ... 

Louatamin* ... ... 

Longhur/t on the religious Mltl 
cf original inhabitant of South 
India 6, criticism of t!tc opinion 
of 7, opinion on stone circles 
10, on cromlechs 21. or. Kaicta- 
dnr group of dolmen shrines 23, 
on Iheoriginof vircana, account 
of th® origin of umbrellas over 
vimana iV. on r.ho current 
theory of the beginning of 
leciple architecture 61 . on 
Sevan Pagodas 

... 27 

Madurai-alhala-ptiritnam ... 70 

Magic circle 8. 12, 17 

Uahsbfaarata ... 8. 51. M 

Mebaparlnibbaoa Suit* .. 4B, 69 

Mshsyanlsra 08 

Mthshalipuram ... 

M abend ruvarman ... 01,83,63, fli 

Manamm 42, 63 

Manavalai 25 

MaixUicapnltu inscription to. I 
in Sanakirt of 61, Interprelntioo 

of ... 02-03 

Minima* halal, dmcriplion of a 

Kali', tempi, in 33 

Manu-Sniiti, reforoneva to Icm- 

P>«* l" 1» 

MnrlycU ... .. ... 3 

Marshall, R. on toatli 17 

Marshall, J., Sir, on the temples 
io 3rd millennium 13. C. ... 44 

Mauryas 39, 40, 57 

Nagfisena on tho existence of 

Hindu t.mplea in his time ... 3tl 

Nlrneralu (B 40 

Nirvana 55, M 

Non-Aryans ... 0.7 

Oppert, on reserablaivce* between 
l'cy temples and Toda booth ... 



Pallippsdai .„ 

l'»ndava&’ templco 

Panl nl. refer* to 2 classes of mages 

Pataojali on worship of images. 

l’ey temples ... 

Piphrahva Stupa 
Podtlamma ... ... 

Pcloramm* ... ... 9, 

l’ongal ... ... 


Prahara ... ... ... 

Punjab, recent dlscovorien In ... 

ltajadilya, Clrola kini 

Kajskesarivnrman, Tlmkkalv 
kunram grant of ... 

Raja raja 1 

Kamayaua. reference to tompUe 
In 10, refereuas to vimanar In 
IS i referoooM to chni ty as in ... 

Rallus - 

Rhys Davids, oo Chaityas 
Rig-Veda, refereoco to the burial 
ground In 10, reference to tho 
belief among Aryans about 


Rmlra, story of 




Siicreil tree ... ••• ••• J 

Bnivivn, Ililtory of .. ... 68 


Bulril ... *«.« 

SlIantaj.siiB.jjisnlOf... ••• 

Sewn or -.3,11,14.31 

Suvit-Ttaou ... ... ••• 10, 

StncU ... «. 

Seubudat Street 

Seih'Miltai rmuJa ... 

Sillier* ... ... 01,00, 


Smd. tweat discoveries In ... 
Siv# ... .. *.3 4,5, 

Sin ... 

8miib, V. A 

Solapurtin •• 

Snaunaa *'■. 30, 

Sri Damns, story of 

Srlneth* — "9. 

Stcn Konow, reference to worship 
of Hindu soils at the time Ol 
lataoj*li and l’lilioi 
Stevenson describes ('nine of 
Stone ^e ... ~ 

Scons circle at AaCAvati, pri- 
si live form of 3, . nation 
of the meaning of. lO.pwpoae, 
of 16, disappesrnnee of it, 20 
[II TV iral of. ,0 secluded places 21 , 
SI" pa. meaning of, n pro-Dud- 
dbisl Institution 37, resoaibt- 
aaco between vinumaend, 3S, 
eipUnition of resemblance 
between Hindu temple end 
developed Uudilhist 41, origin 
oi 43, point* r.f vnumMaoeo 


stupa, d’mpe, nnrl ii 
piufgo 50, worship of So, bu 

over she remains of Uuddha, 30, 
nustioiunl to Aittw** 57. 
pa its of 5H. a.', inlluonco of 
Hindu tempt* on tl« transfer* 
of 60. lu^ipOMd Uitla. 



Tee — ... 



Teiinrl >m ... ... 

ihuitioo de*.’rib«* temples of 
l.iii it mbsu Zi, on funeral cus- 


tome of BUIbvbb 



1 - 


Tmlat ... 1,8,16.18, 10,31,00, T« 

ToDdaninn»(l ... ... ... * 

Toialurammn ... ... 7 


Umbrella*, origin of ... 
(fpimigo ... 
Upsnioliiul* ... 

... 59 

... 49, M 
... 57 



... 68. 53 

enoaon vim aba 
(udnkii-V'idan [hi lues 
Sumsog*!* VlUulBl 

1. 19. 13. 

Veltnlars ... ... ... * 

Vitotii, Dr. Sloven Rin on the 
ahiuw of. 1*. allusion to. In 
Kntkc-Barit-Mzora ld-15, refer- 
ence to 18. 17, 08, 67 

I'iuiaK'd. Laflghu rat's theory on 
fid origin oi, 37. reseoibliuiLO 
of. to stupa and cocc. union 
therefrom, 35. references in 
Gamaynnu, in Giroar Pock 
odict W, 44, Similarity between 
vimaoas ol tom pi « and vi- 
nanns of sods. 4J, three types 
of 63. meaning of. 61. indi- 
i origin of, 06, its evolu- 
jn. 71, dificreut [Ingos in the 
eclopm^nt of, 7 2, 73. lineal 
dccendant of pre-Buddhist 
ehaltys, 71. views with regard 
to tho origin of, summed up 78, 
three types of ... ... 7® 

Vi nay aka 4 

Vlrllmu ... m. ... M, « 

Vi/wln 7 

W, on ciomlcche ... *0 


Yak [lies ... »• 13< 3*